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Monday, 22 December 2014

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West Cumbrian firm’s apprentice accolade

A Flimby engineering firm has won a regional award for its commitment to young people.

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FIRM SUCCESS: Managing director Mark Telford, back row, right, with workers at Forth Engineering, Flimby, which has won a regional apprenticeship award

Forth Engineering has beaten businesses across Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside to win the Regional National Apprenticeship Awards.

It will now compete in the national finals in Birmingham next month.

Mark Telford, the firm’s managing director, said apprenticeships were the backbone of the company.

Four of its five directors are ex-apprentices, including two who have risen through the ranks in Flimby.

Emma Bragg, 26, who is finance director, began as a business apprentice at Forth Engineering aged 19. Graham Cartwright, 27, project director, started his career with Forth as an engineering apprentice.

Mr Telford began his own career as an apprentice before founding Forth Engineering and said he recognised the value of a good apprenticeship.

He added: “The only downside for us is that, because we are a small company, we often lose our apprentices once they have finished. They go on to bigger firms with more money.”

Forth Engineering employs 18 staff, five of whom are apprentices.

In the past seven years the company has taken on 14 apprentices.

Cumbria County Council won the award in the large business category of the competition.

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