North Shields firm helps trainess land new jobs

Left to right: Rob Storey, from AIS Connect; Simon Cross, from METEC; and Rob Forsyth, from METEC (far right), with the new trainees.
Left to right: Rob Storey, from AIS Connect; Simon Cross, from METEC; and Rob Forsyth, from METEC (far right), with the new trainees.

A group of apprentices are settling in to their new roles thanks to support from a North Shields company.

South Tyneside-based engineering specialist METEC Group has taken on five new trainees thanks to help from North Shields-based AIS Connect.

METEC – which manufacturers cathodic protective products for a range of sectors including offshore, marine, ports, harbours and others – is going through a period of unprecedented growth following several major new contract-wins for the offshore wind industry, with more expected soon.

And as part of their investment in future talent, they were provided with five hand-picked trainees from AIS Connect’s highly successful pre-apprenticeship programme.

The trainees then undertook a work placement at METEC for four weeks so both the company and the individuals could check they were right for each other – with three being taken on as apprentices and two in full-time roles.

Rob Storey, AIS Connect group head of education, said: “We’re delighted to continue helping METEC.

“We place employers at the heart of our programmes, listen to their needs, and structure training appropriately to provide motivated, proactive, enthusiastic workers with valuable competencies.”

Rob Forsyth, commercial director of METEC UK, said: “We are a new business established following significant investment by our Italian parent company and apprentices are key to the company’s growth.

“We’ve won a record number of new contracts in the offshore wind industry and as we get busier we need people on board who can be productive from day one.

“The AIS Connect trainees were different from those other providers supplied in the past.”

“Connect training experience mirrors workplace requirements so, as well as learning real-industry approved skills, trainees have to turn up on time, report in and demonstrate the correct work ethic and attitude.

“Because of this they were ‘work-ready’ when they started and had a base level of skills so they could take on meaningful tasks immediately.

“We slotted the trainees into three of the key areas of the business: quality control, design and fabrication and as they were here for four weeks, we could see how they worked before deciding to take things further.

“We couldn’t fault them and were so impressed we’ve taken all five on to help us as we grow.”

Find out more about AIS Connect programmes at or contact 0191 3410250