A Lincolnshire manufacturer has taken on a record number of apprentices in the last year as the company responds to a dramatic increase in demand.
GIC, which designs and manufacturers vertical form fill and seal machines for use in the food industry, traditionally takes on one apprentice a year but in the last 12 months has welcomed three new recruits.
Kieran Haith (21) joined Gainsborough-based GIC last month as an apprentice mechanical engineer, with electrical engineering apprentices Ben White (21) and Louis Bailey (20) starting their roles in the spring.
Ben and Louis are studying Mechatronics on a day-release basis at Rotherham College, with Kieran attending the Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) full-time for the next year.
“GIC has always believed that investing in young people is worthwhile and will benefit the business in the long run,” says Luke Murphy, Director of GIC. “We have incredibly high standards and employ some vastly experienced and skilled engineers who are passing on their knowledge to our apprentices and ensuring that our way of doing things is engrained into the apprentices.
“I am very proud of the fact that between 2010 and 2020 we took on eight apprentices, seven of who are still with us today and the one that left us was offered an opportunity to travel the world with a multi-national company installed large packaging projects.
“Traditionally we only take on one apprentice each year, but 2020 has been unlike any other year, in so many ways. We have seen an incredible increase in interest in our packaging machines and have seen orders double, so we needed more people to help meet demand.”
As well as studying for NVQs at college and on-the-job training, GIC introduces all of its apprentices to the packaging industry trade association – the PPMA – and its Best Grant of £1,000, which can be used to support the apprentices’ route into employment.
As well as investing in staff, GIC has also increased the size of its factory, installing a £30,000 mezzanine floor to provide an additional 90 square feet of manufacturing space.
GIC was established in 1984, with its current directors – Andy Beal and Luke Murphy – assuming control of the business in 2006 through a management buy-out.
GIC offers an extensive range of vertical bagmakers, producing a wide range of finished bag sizes from 150 to 600mm wide, in both intermittent and continuous motion variants. All GIC machines offer low-cost ownership, robustness, reliability and exceptional build quality.
GIC machines integrate seamlessly with upstream equipment such as check-weighers, multi-head weighers, cup fillers and counters, with the company offering efficient and cost-effective after sales to all of its customers in fresh and frozen produce, cereals, snacks, confectionery, pasta, powders and pulses, industrial hardware and liquids.