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Friday, 28 November 2014

New Ulverston training facility celebrated

THE business community joined a successful training provider and its apprentices for the official opening of a new Ulverston training facility.

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BOOST: Furness Skills Centre in Ulverston was officially opened by GSK site director Greig Rooney and John Woodcock. From left, Mr Woodcock, chief executive of GEN II Mike Smith, Mr Rooney and GSK apprentices Matthew Priestley, Liam Wilson, and Liam Whinfield HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50040312B000

GEN II’s Furness Skills Centre was opened with an unveiling of a plaque by Grieg Rooney, site director of GlaxoSmithKline, in Ulverston, and Furness MP John Woodcock.

GEN II’s South Cumbria centre was originally based at The Elms at Glaxo, but it outgrew the premises and moved to Lightburn Trading Estate last month.

The organisation trains apprentices in areas including mechanical and electrical engineering, and works with employers including Glaxo, Oil States, Tritech International, Kimberly-Clark and Forge Europa.

GEN II has 81 apprentices training in Furness and its overall success rate for Furness learners exceeds 90 per cent. It was also rated as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted this year.

Mike Smith, chief executive of Gen II, said: “Our decision to invest in a new skills centre here in Ulverston has been very much driven by the views of you, the employers we work with. While the Elms has served its purpose, it has been clear that in order to expand and grow and thereby give young people as well as employers greater choice and opportunity, we would need to move to new larger premises. It has also been driven by the success and increased optimism of the engineering and specialist manufacturing industry here in Furness and South Lakes, and in particular the announcement by GSK earlier this year to invest over £300m in a new pharmaceutical plant adjacent to its Ulverston operation.”

The new centre also aims to deliver HNCs, foundation and BEng (Hons) degrees.

Mr Rooney congratulated GEN II on its new centre and programmes of learning. He said apprentices are the future and can become the next generation of leaders. He said: “GEN II is a terrific training provider. We feel comfortable and safe putting our apprentices in the hands of Gen II.”

Glaxo mechanical engineering apprentice Matthew Priestley, 16, of Askam, said: “I’m loving the apprenticeship, the brand new facilities are excellent. I’m very keen to progress and I would like to study to degree level.”

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