The work of a Welsh manufacturer which has developed an international reputation for its highly skilled apprentices has been recognised with a prestigious national award.
FSG Tool and Die, based in Llantrisant was named Medium Employer of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2022, which showcase the outstanding achievements, during unprecedented times, of employers, apprentices and work-based learning practitioners.
Highlight of the year for apprentices, employers and work-based learning providers and practitioners, the awards are organised by the Welsh Government and supported by the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) and headline sponsor Openreach.
Steve Cope, FSG Tool and Die’s lean/operational excellence leader and apprentice co-ordinator, who is a product of the company’s apprenticeship programme, was delighted with the award.
“We are all proud of our apprentices and this award is recognition for all our hard work,” he added. “Apprenticeships have been the lifeblood of our company for over 60 years and our programme has become the benchmark for many companies in the industry.
“Our apprentices are a major contributor to our success. The quality of the work they produce maintains our excellent reputation and we have a track record of retaining staff for years, sometimes even a lifetime.”
Apprentices employed by FSG Tool and Die excel in national and international competitions – including Engineering Apprentice of the Year in Wales, WorldSkills UK and Skills Competition Wales – and have helped improve the company’s manufacturing process.
The company’s workforce exceeds 90, including 12 apprentices who are working towards apprenticeships up to degree level in Mechanical Engineering, delivered by training provider TSW Training and the University of Wales Trinity St David in Swansea.
Offering development and engineering solutions to customers worldwide, the company exports more than half of its products.
Apprentices have helped to streamline the company’s manufacturing process, thereby improving efficiency by six per cent. They have also invented smaller electric car batteries for a customer and are trialling sustainable manufacturing materials for a greener future.
Beginning its apprenticeship programme in 1969, FSG Tool and Die takes on five apprentices annually and some have progressed to the senior leadership team.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated FSG Tool and Die and all the other award winners and finalists. “This Welsh Government has ambitious plans to make Wales an engine for sustainable, inclusive growth and give every young person the best possible start in the world of work,” he said.
“I believe apprenticeships are vital to this vision and that’s why we are investing £366 million over the next three years in the delivery of our apprenticeship programme. I am determined we do all we can as a government to help deliver the long-term economic benefits our young people deserve.
“We are a small country but we have big ambitions, and our aim is to foster a culture in Wales where recruiting an apprentice is the norm for employers.”