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Mid Wales specialist gear company wins prestigious national award

Apprenticeship Awards Cymru Finalists, Compact Orbital Gears, Rhayader. Picture by Phil Blagg Photography. PB006-2021

A MID WALES engineering company, which has developed a multi-skilled and flexible workforce to become a leading name in specialist gear transmissions for more than 50 years, has won a prestigious national award.

Compact Orbital Gears, which has a workforce of 43 based in Rhayader, was named the Small Employer of the Year at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021 virtual ceremony.

The company designs, manufactures and develops bespoke gear solutions for aerospace, automotive and clean energy customers. This ability to offer bespoke solutions is key to the company’s success.

Tricia Evans, Compact Orbital Gears’ financial controller, said the company was delighted to be recognised for its commitment to providing quality apprenticeships.

“We ae thrilled to have won the award because it recognises the dedication of all those involved in the Apprenticeship Programme at the company,” she added.

“It’s a huge achievement for a small, Mid Wales company to be recognised as a top employer of apprentices within the community and testament to everybody involved in the programme, including Myrick Training and NPTC Group of Colleges.

“Apprentices are absolutely essential to our business. We have to grow our own skilled employees here in Mid Wales which supports the local community.”

Celebrating outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships, the awards saw 35 finalists compete in 12 categories on June 17.

Highlight of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcased businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the awards had Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, as the headline sponsor.

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The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.Welsh Government Apprenticeship Programmes have benefitted 5,645 people across Mid Wales since May 2016.

Established in the 1960s, Compact Orbital Gears is proud of its highly skilled workforce, family ethos and long history of recruiting apprentices from within Mid Wales.

The company currently has three apprentices and five other young employees working towards Further Education qualifications. Myrick Training and NPTC Group of Colleges Newtown Campus deliver engineering and business and administration qualifications.

A focus on growing its own pool of skilled engineers is paying off for Compact Orbital Gears at a time when there is a UK shortage. Its Apprenticeship Programme provides technical training, supported by in-house specialist instruction with experienced employees sharing their skills and knowledge with apprentices.

Providing opportunities for development ensures that staff turnover at Compact Orbital Gears is very low and the company’s long term aim is to introduce state-of -the art, computer aided machinery which is ideally suited to apprentice development.

Believing that organic growth is key to the success of the business, the company also provides work placements for university graduates and budding engineers in local schools.

Congratulating Compact Orbital Gears, Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “Our award winners have excelled via the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during unprecedented and extremely challenging times.

“This Welsh Government has ambitious recovery plans to ensure there is no lost generation as we rebuild a new version of Wales that becomes an engine for sustainable, inclusive growth. I believe apprenticeships will be vital as we emerge from the pandemic.

“That’s why the new Welsh Government has committed to creating a further 125,000 Apprenticeship places over the next five years. We are a small country, but we have big ambitions, and our aim is to create a culture in Wales where recruiting an apprentice becomes the norm for employers.”