Six apprentices are nearing the end of a two-month training scheme with Westbridge Furniture, as part of a Level 2 Upholstery Apprenticeship programme at Coleg Cambria. The 16-18-year olds will progress onto the full two-year initiative if successful, with a guaranteed job with the company from day one.

Learners spend up to eight weeks at Cambria’s Deeside site as part of the traineeship scheme, where they are taught basic employability skills such as timekeeping, teamwork and health and safety. The following four weeks are spent on work placement at the Deeside factory, one of Westbridge Furniture’s three UK production sites, which manufactures in excess of 10,000 pieces of upholstery each week.

Nicola Gaughran, deputy director of employability and foundation skills at Coleg Cambria, says: “Westbridge Furniture is a brilliant local company operating on the national stage, and that’s a big selling point for future apprentices. The pay is also above the average for an apprenticeship and more than the minimum wage, so I would urge more teenagers in the region to explore this opportunity via Coleg Cambria.”

Westbridge’s HR manager Nick Arundell hopes to see more students on the production line in the coming months, and says there is demand for workers in the sector. “The apprentices from Cambria have done very well and become important members of the team at Deeside,” he says. “We are looking for enthusiastic and hard-working youngsters who want to join our growing company - if that’s you then get in touch [email traineeships@cambria.ac.uk].”

Pictured from left: Apprentices Kieron Lockett, Adain Hamzah, Connor Wilks and Dion Evans