The firm set up a bespoke apprenticeship scheme and recruited five school leavers who in 18 months have become skilled electronic manufacturing workers.

Axis has just taken on another six apprentices and has double reason to celebrate after its apprentice scheme reached the final of this year’s National Training Awards.

Finance and HR manager Paul Tipping said: “Inability to increase skilled staff levels would have meant having to turn down orders and therefore risk losing customers. We decided that the best way forward to ensure sustained skill levels is to grow our own talent, and we decided to invest in apprentices.”

The scheme is funded by the Learning and Skills Council, with the training provided on day release by Bedford Training Group.

Mr Tipping said: “The apprentices have made brilliant progress. In 18 months we have grown five skilled electronics manufacturing staff . They have became valuable employees and are now of similar calibre to the skilled staff we would normally recruit.

“Lack of skills in the area is no longer seen as a barrier to our growth. We have just taken on a further six apprentices as we have proved that growing our own talent can be a great success.””

Managing director Phil Inness (pictured) added: “”I am confident that each of the modern apprentices have the attitude and skills that will ensure they have a fulfilling and rewarding career here at Axis Electronics. They represent the ‘new shoots’ that will allow us to continue to grow and prosper in the years to come.””

The East of England National Training Awards ceremony takes place on October 17 at The Guildhall, Cambridge.”

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