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Lafarge looks to the future with 4 UK apprenticeships

World Cement,

The Lafarge cement plant at Dunbar has added two new members to its team, following a restart of the site’s apprenticeship programme. Fraser Flockhart (18) from North Berwick, has been taken on as a mechanical apprentice, and Matthew Foreman, also 18, will work as an electrical apprentice.

The plant’s director, Nigel Blair, said he was “delighted the plant has been able to get the scheme up and running again after being on hold for two years due to the downturn in the construction industry.”

Seemingly keen to invest in future skilled workers for its plants, Lafarge has also taken on two apprentices at its Cookstown plant it Northern Ireland. Under this plant’s apprenticeship scheme, Lafarge has already announced that it will open spaces for a further two apprentices in 2013.

Northern Ireland’s Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, recently toured the Cookstown plant in the wake of £5 million worth of upgrades, and of course, the initiation of the apprenticeship scheme. “I welcome Lafarge Cement’s multi-million pound investment in its Cookstown plant, as it demonstrates the company’s confidence in its local workforce, and in Northern Ireland as a whole,” she said after the tour. “This is a difficult time for the construction industry and it is therefore particularly pleasing to see that the company is investing in its future by upgrading its current facilities and creating opportunities for apprenticeships.”

Speaking on behalf of Lafarge, Rajeev Ramankutty, Industrial Director said: “The Works is already a global leader for safety performance within Lafarge, and the latest investment projects and apprenticeships will further improve our manufacturing processes and environmental management, as well as bringing additional skills and expertise to the team.”

As the UK’s construction industry continues to struggle, and the effects are felt in the form of lower cement demand, this kind of forward thinking is most welcome and encouraging too, to say the least.

Edited from various sources by Jack Davidson.

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