Barnoldswick-based Silentnight played host to local MP Andrew Stephenson last week as the bedmaker recognised the commitment and achievements of the apprentices on its award-winning scheme.

MP for Pendle, Andrew joined the COO of Silentnight Brands, Richard Logan, and head of the apprenticeship scheme, Dr Julie Dix, to present certificates to the current cohort of apprentices, recognising their hard work and achievements over the past 12 months.

The visit took place following Silentnight’s announcement of a further eight apprentice places in 2018, further bolstering the scheme, now in its seventh year, and offering opportunities to local people.

Speaking after the presentation, MP Andrew Stephenson said: “It's fantastic to see a local business investing its time and resources into developing young talent in the area. Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to take their first step into the workplace, allowing them to learn and grow in a supportive environment.

“Silentnight is a brilliant example of a business that really nurtures talent here in Lancashire, and I'm delighted to have been asked to present these awards. I wish all the apprentices well as they continue their careers at Silentnight.”

The two year-long earn-while-you-learn scheme sees apprentices work across a wide range of departments at SIlentnight including production, engineering and management, and guarantees a full time position with the company upon completion of the scheme. Since its launched in 2011 the company has taken on and trained 65 young people, and offers a competitive package, paying all apprentices more than double the national minimum wage for apprenticeships.

The scheme received praise from David Cameron during a 2014 visit to Silentnight’s factory, when the then-Prime Minister described Silentnight as a "great business", emphasising its investment in UK manufacturing, product innovation and apprenticeships. Silentnight also won the regional final in the large employer category at the National Apprenticeship Awards, and was highly commended at the awards in 2016 and 2017.

Julie Dix says: “The apprentices here today are such great examples of how successful this scheme is for us here at Silentnight. We pride ourselves on developing young people and really recognise the value they bring to the business. We couldn’t be more proud of their achievements.”

Speaking about her time on the scheme, Roisin Young, human resources apprentice, says: “At Silentnight I really feel like a valued member of the team. The business offers some great opportunities for young people to better themselves and learn new skills.

“I feel like I have the chance to grow with the company – Silentnight is as invested in my career as I am.”