Mersey Maritime Provides Skills Link

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
A skills-link provided by Mersey Maritime through an initiative called Workforce Development, which is funded by the Learning Skills Council, Greater Merseyside, has helped to forge vital partnerships between local businesses and education and training providers. It is enabling companies to up-skill their workforce and has already seen one maritime company move into new areas of production. Fifty six SME's (small and medium enterprises) in the region who were looking for education and training for their workforce have been linked to the Birkenhead-based Laird Foundation, which has become a regional centre of excellence for Marine Engineering. It also offers courses for general engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors. One of the first companies to benefit from the skills-link is DFW logistics, which specializes in the repair and refurbishment of steel freight containers and asked Mersey Maritime for help in sourcing training for their apprentices. The company has arranged for their apprentice welders to attend a day release course to broaden their skills, a move that will in turn create further jobs and additional apprenticeships, allowing the company to expand its work into the construction of canal barges. Mersey Maritime's business development director, David Pendleton said: "It's all about networking. Having researched all of the work that takes place on either side of the river we can act as a single reference point for those seeking information and were glad to assist them. Promoting stories like this is really helping to raise the profile of maritime industry excellence around Merseyside."

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