Manufacturer celebrates importance of apprenticeships

A manufacturing firm has been celebrating the success of its apprenticeship programme.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 3:42 pm
Sterling Pharma Solutions in Dudley, Cramlington celebrating the success of its apprenticeship programme during National Apprenticeship Week with some of their apprentices, CEO Kevin Cook and guests Alan Campbell, MP for Tynemouth, Stan Higgins, CEO for the North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) and George Ritchie MBE, Chair of the North East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (NEAAN). Picture by Jane Coltman

Sterling Pharma Solutions, based in Dudley, held a special event last Friday as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

Among the guests were Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell, Chief Executive Officer for North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) Stan Higgins, Chair of the North-East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (NEAAN) George Ritchie MBE, and representatives from the apprenticeship colleges and training providers in the area.

Sterling Pharma Solutions currently employs 13 apprentices with three more scheduled to start later this month.

Kevin Cook, CEO at Sterling Pharma Solutions, said: “At Sterling we really value the importance of apprenticeships and we’re committed to creating a ladder of opportunity for those who start their careers here.

“We offer extensive training and hands on experience that you just can’t get in a classroom, as well as pairing our apprentices with experienced mentors to help them take the steps to success and fast-track their careers.”

John Wiper, HR and operations director at Sterling, who started his career as an engineering apprentice at the site 37 years ago, said: “I can personally vouch for the benefits of apprenticeships for individuals and I have seen first-hand the positive impact they can have on businesses and the wider economy.

“My own career started at the Sterling site and I’ve never looked back.”

“There are so many opportunities for apprentices to progress here, it’s great to see a company that’s so committed to training the next generation.”

Sue Husband, director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “National Apprenticeship Week is an important date in the calendar as the week brings to the forefront of everyone’s minds the importance of helping to get more people to consider becoming an apprentice, whilst we celebrate the success apprenticeships bring to business.”

For more information about Sterling Pharma Solutions visit