The waste management and recycling sector is attracting more apprentices seeking practical experience for a skilled career versus academic studies, Kate Green MP for Stretford and Urmston learned during a tour of a Manchester-based end-of-life vehicle (ELV) recycling plant.
In recent months, Axion Polymers has taken on three apprentices, including one long-term unemployed and two who wanted to gain practical work experience. It has also recruited eight further staff, including chemical engineering placement students and technicians, to cope with demand for recycled products from its Shredder Waste Advanced Processing Plant (SWAPP) at Trafford Park, Manchester.
The multi-million pound plant, one of the most advanced of its type in Europe, separates non-metallic fractions from automotive shredder residue (ASR) to produce recycled plastics, materials for the construction industry and fuel to substitute coal.
From March round-the-clock shifts have been introduced at the award-winning facility, which is already capable of delivering over 95% recycling and recovery of materials from end-of-life vehicles.
Kate viewed the results of further multi-million pound investment in extra processing capability at Axion’s SWAPP plant. The new building and processes were under construction during her first visit 18 months ago.
Her tour was hosted by Axion Polymers’ Technical Operations Manager Mike Bennett, Production Manager Paul Foy, Project Engineer Uchenna Onwuamaegbu and Lab Assistant Simon Davidson, who had joined as an Apprentice.
Mike said: “Kate was clearly impressed with our progress, commitment to training young people and the range of products that can be produced with innovative processing techniques.”
Kate commented: “I really enjoyed visiting Axion again to see the fabulous progress made at the SWAPP plant since my last visit.
“I was very pleased to meet the new apprentices and learn that Axion has recruited more staff to cope with demand. The plant is certainly going from strength to strength and it’s great to see such a thriving local business in Trafford.”
Axion Director Roger Morton explained that investment in their technological capabilities and expertise is essential given the growth in manufacturing returning to the UK and greater sustainability in the flourishing vehicle manufacturing sector.
The company is also extending its plant-building capabilities to other clients and growing relationships with a range of manufacturers in the North West supplying systems and components.