Norbord has been praised for offering a well-rounded engineering apprenticeship programme that enables students to develop their skills and qualifications while being employed.

The wood panel manufacturer has forged strong relationships with MetTech and Falkirk College to offer the trainees a programme that best suits their needs. The apprentices begin with a 26-week period at MetTech in Grangemouth where they learn how to use basic hand tools and the safety skills required before they start work on site.

The students then attend Falkirk College one day a week to complete a National Certificate in mechanical or electrical engineering before going on the gaining their HNC in third and fourth year.

Throughout the four years, each apprentice is appointed an experienced tradesperson to buddy during the days they work on site to learn the plant layout and safety rules. This stage is followed by small supervised tasks before they are left alone to complete jobs.

Scott McGuinness, head of programme, said: "At Norbord we have taken the time to listen to what our apprentices need from our programme in order to develop and become confident within the workplace.

"We've developed a robust safety programme across all of our plant and it is imperative that all of our apprentices are familiar with these procedures before coming to work on site.”

The company has recently employed a number of apprentices at its three UK plants - Cowie in Stirlingshire, Morayhill near Inverness and South Molton in North Devon.