Page 4: Polestar's Apprenticeship Scheme
Polestar has introduced the printing industry's largest Apprenticeship Scheme which is very closely linked to Printdynamics. This is now into its second year and it enables young people aged 16 to 21 to come directly into the industry whilst receiving training. Staff on the scheme work towards a print specific qualification that also provides a platform which can lead on to a degree equivalent award.
By tailoring a scheme to the needs of individuals and the company, Polestar is able to attract and recruit young people of high calibre who will safeguard its future in the extremely challenging print environment.
Under the scheme, apprentices work towards NVQ Level 2 or 3 qualifications. The trainees develop skills across a variety of print disciplines on site. Additionally block release and distance learning at Leeds College of Technology is provided. The scheme is supported by the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF).
Polestar wants to remain at the cutting edge of the printing industry. In order to do this it must maintain a well informed, highly skilled and happy workforce that is ready and able to produce the ideal printing solutions that customers seek. This scheme recognises that many print workers currently employed are approaching retirement age. This could result in a skills shortage in the printing industry as a whole and Polestar in particular.
The Modern Apprentice Scheme aims to fill that shortage for Polestar which will then be able to maintain its leading position. It aims to ensure that Polestar's staff are trained in the most up to date and ever changing technology that is revolutionising the printing industry.
Polestar's Group HR Director, Catherine Hearn, has evaluated the Scheme's impact to date. She writes:
'The success to date of our scheme and the high calibre of our current apprentices is confirmation that we are adopting a strategy that will raise skill levels and standards across the Group. We are very much looking forward to working with the new recruits and continuing with our overall training and development programme, as all plants benefit from the wide-scale investment that is underway'.