Apprenticeships at CMG

Apprenticeships are increasingly being recognised as a valid long-term career option, with successful candidates gaining relevant work-based and academic qualifications whilst they earn, with the added benefit of no student debts on completion of the course.

Our Company’s longstanding Apprenticeship Scheme, which has now been running for nearly 30 years, has put the Group in a strong position in terms of continued expansion and sustainability over the coming years, and recognises the benefits and advantages of developing our own local ‘home-grown’ talent.  The scheme offers paid on-the-job training and formal qualifications, as well as delivering skills that are specifically relevant to the organisation, thus fulfilling both the current and future needs of the business.

We are always pleased to welcome new Apprentices as they start on their path to a successful career within our innovative high-tech Design, Manufacturing & Engineering facility based in Torrington, and we have enjoyed celebrating the continued successes of previous Apprentices as they have progressed through the organisation.

The Company works closely with Group Training & Development (GTD) (www.gtdev.co.uk) to provide all our Apprentices with an accredited work-based programme, initially focused around National Vocational Qualifications.  In-house support and mentoring is available as necessary, and ongoing development needs are discussed and reviewed on a regular basis.  Apprentices typically start following their GCSEs, and attend a local college on a day-release basis to complete their ONC and HNC qualifications, fully funded by the Company.  Following completion of their HNC, Apprentices are given an opportunity to progress within the organisation, with the possibility of completing Higher Education Courses, including Honour Degree level qualifications, and even MBAs.  From September 2017, the Company will also be offering Apprenticeships focused around Software Development, in conjunction with the University of Exeter, for students who have completed their ‘A’ Levels.

Apprentices are able to experience work within different areas of the business, and are also given the opportunity where possible to support customer site visits, both in the UK and overseas, in order to understand other aspects of the business such as Installation, Commissioning and Customer Support, and to experience face-to-face customer engagement.  As an international business, Apprentices gain a significant amount of experience resulting from exposure to overseas subsidiaries and markets.

To date, approximately 40% of employees originally started with the Company as Apprentices, highlighting our extremely impressive retention rate.  All of these achieved NVQ3, with the majority also going on to achieve NVQ4/5, with the potential for further CPD in the form of part-time Honours Degrees.  Former Apprentices have also completed post‑graduate Masters Degrees.

As well as contributing to the Company’s excellent retention record and growth targets, it is clear that our Apprenticeship Scheme also promotes greater staff motivation, loyalty and willingness to support the business.  In particular, we have seen numerous examples of Apprentices who have successfully worked their way up through the organisation and have eventually progressed to Senior Management positions within CMG, playing a major part in ongoing development of the business through continual revitalisation of skill-sets within the workforce.

Over the years, a number of our Apprentices have been awarded the prestigious ‘Apprentice of the Year’ Award, at both the Group Training & Development and North Devon Manufacturers’ Association annual prize-giving events.  These awards provide recognition of outstanding Engineering excellence for Apprentices who have demonstrated high academic results and significant effort and commitment to their practical workplace development. Everyone within the organisation is extremely proud of these achievements, which represent a clear endorsement for our continued support and commitment to the Apprenticeship Programme as we move forward.

One of our success stories, Quinten John (Project Coordinator), having originally joined the Company straight from school in 2011, and having successfully completed his Apprenticeship, is now undertaking further studies via the Degree Programme offered in conjunction with the University of Exeter, which will result in BSc Honours in Digital & Technology Solutions.  He explained that, “The flexible programme allows you to attend to work duties whilst learning in parallel, and enables you to specialise and develop particular skills to meet your own individual career aspirations and also the ongoing needs of the business." (see www.exeter.ac.uk/business/working/apprenticeships)

Douglas Graham (General Manager) commented, “It is encouraging to be able to contribute to development of top quality Engineers into the industry.  The addition of fresh new innovation and skills within our organisation is key to remaining competitive.  Good quality Apprenticeships create excellent Engineers, and give ambitious hardworking individuals an opportunity to cultivate a long-term career whilst playing an important part in building a sustainable successful business.”

Just a few of our many success stories include:

Douglas Graham (General Manager) joined as an Apprentice in 1996.

He successfully worked his way through various roles within the organisation, and now heads up the entire UK (Torrington) Facility.

Douglas is currently working towards an MBA with the University of Exeter Business School.

Peter Morrish (Technology Manager) joined as an Apprentice in 1990, and is now a key member of the Senior Management Team.

Peter is currently working towards an MBA with the University of Reading’s Henley Business School.

James Lovell (Systems Integration Engineer) joined as an Apprentice in 1995, and has been able to hone his skills to a high level within the Drawing Office.

Paul Hutchinson (Systems Engineer / Business Analyst) joined as an Apprentice in 2003.

He is now part of the Engineering Management Team, having successfully completed a MSc in Technology Management with the Open University.

Nick Symons (Electronics Engineer) joined as an Apprentice in 2005.

He now works as a key resource within the Hardware Engineering Team, having successfully completed a BEng (Hons) Electronics Engineering Degree with the University of the West of England.

Quinten John (Project Coordinator) joined as an Apprentice in 2011, and was the successful winner of the North Devon Journal Business Award for “Apprentice of the Year” in 2014.

Quinten is currently working towards a BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Systems with the University of Exeter.

Craig Barrett (Manufacturing Technician) joined as an Apprentice in 2012.

He was a runner‑up in the North Devon Manufacturers’ Association Business Awards for “Apprentice of the Year” in 2016.

These are just a handful of the many individual success stories we have seen, and the Company was also the proud winner of the 2013 Western Morning News Business Awards for its Apprenticeship Programme.

If you are interested in being considered for an Apprenticeship at CMG Ltd., please contact Lindy Stacey (melinda.stacey@helitune.com) – successful candidates are normally invited to join the organisation at the end of Summer, and start college in September.