Crown’s Versatility Enables Apprentices to Continue to Thrive
As the manufacturing sector has continued to adapt in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, our versatility and commitment to the next generation of canmakers has shone through in the continuation of our apprenticeship programs. One example is the Training Academy, which supports our Reprographics Studio capabilities and is based in the Braunstone, U.K. plant. The program is entering its fourth year.
In 2020, eleven apprentices enrolled in the program to receive training across mechanical and electrical disciplines. Most of them were identified as a result of our proactive approach to educating children and youth in the local community about careers in manufacturing and opportunities at Crown.
While adjustments were made to ensure the safety of all program participants during the pandemic, training has continued. For example, since college courses were winding down for the current class of second year apprentices, their time was channeled towards completion of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) modules, a British qualification in technical or practical subjects that shows an individual has a range of skills useful for work. Third year apprentices were added to shifts in Braunstone, experience usually reserved for the last year of their apprenticeship, to avoid any gaps in their education. The apprentices were placed in small groups onto the factory floor in accordance with the strictest social distancing policies.
Kevin Cox, Sustainability Manager at Crown and the coordinator of the apprenticeship program, commented: “We believed it would be best to utilize the apprentice’s accumulated skills by allowing them to work in the plant. In addition to providing valuable practical experience, it supports their future coursework, having encountered and run certain systems and witnessing the operational processes that surround them. We have had positive feedback from the shift managers and, as a result, we are going to be integrating second year apprentices as well – the youngest being just 17! We are proud of our ability to keep this important training program moving forward in ways that are beneficial and safe during these challenging times.”
The next group of apprentices will be inducted in March 2021.