North East fabrication specialist WD Close & Sons has joined forces with Newcastle College Energy Academy and Tyne Metropolitan College to take up to 20 apprentices per year as it looks to develop a secure and highly-skilled workforce for the future.
Established in 1983, the family-owned and operated business provides structural steel fabrication solutions for the UK’s marine, oil and gas, renewable and energy sectors from its locations in Wallsend and Walker.
With demand for WD Close’s services growing and more high-profile contracts secured, the business is looking to home-grow talent as it seeks to train over 100 apprentices over the next five years. Working closely with local further education providers, WD Close will offer apprenticeships in Welding and Fabrication and Electrical and Maintenance.
Chris Close, Managing Director at WD Close & Sons, said, “We are delighted to be working with these North East based education providers to train the next generation of skilled fabrication and electrical experts. So far, we have taken on more than 40 apprentices, and we remain strongly committed to our 5-year plan to train and support many more young people as they embark on their careers”.
Focusing on providing apprentices with ongoing support throughout their apprenticeship has recently seen WD Close celebrate the success of welding apprentice Courtney Newton. The first female welding apprentice at WD Close was named Student of the Year by the Welding Institute’s Northumbria branch at their prestigious annual dinner.
Chris continued, “We are focused on taking this business to its next phase, building on past achievements and creating a forward-thinking business with a sustainable future. We wholly recognise the importance of investing in skills and working with the industry’s future talent”.
In addition to investing in future skill sets via apprenticeship schemes, the Tyneside specialist has added further weight to its team, having recruited six energy and engineering graduates from Newcastle College’s University Centre.