Former apprentice Lewis plays key role in CEL Group's business growth on Telford Land Deal site.
Former apprentice Lewis Gilbert is playing a key role on the assembly line at CEL Group as part of the firm’s continued expansion.
Lewis works full-time as a warehouse and assembly operator at the sub-contract manufacturing business after completing a one year warehouse operative apprenticeship programme.
In addition to day-to-day warehouse duties, he is now assembling components to create in-demand medical aids for the healthcare sector and carrying out essential quality checks before packing the products for dispatch to customers.
Medical aids and adaptations are just some of the products which can now be assembled by CEL Group in the UK after the firm opened an impressive new purpose-built HQ at Hortonwood West in September.
CEL Group has rapidly reaped the benefits of moving to this new site developed through the Telford Land Deal - a partnership between Telford & Wrekin Council, Homes England and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership
The move to Hortonwood West has enabled CEL Group to virtually double its floor space from 21,000 sq.ft to 40,000 sq.ft. - accelerating its expansion of flexible supply chain services and ability to stock manage and store products which are manufactured at its facilities and partners in China.
Lewis’s successful apprenticeship programme means that CEL Group are looking to take on another warehouse and assembly apprentice, as well as a business administration apprentice to work in the office.
Lewis, of Telford, said: “After leaving school I had some time off to think about my next steps and I decided that an apprenticeship was the best option.
“I saw the apprenticeship opportunity at CEL Group and I’ve not looked back since. I’ve been able to learn a wide range of warehouse skills and it’s fascinating to see how a warehouse of this size operates.
“I’ve also been part of the move to Hortonwood West which has been a learning curve and new experience for everyone.
“Since we’ve taken on assembly work, the apprenticeship has really helped me to apply some of the theory side of things to what I’m doing every day. I’m part of a very supportive team here too and we all help each other.”
CEL Group made Lewis’s role fit around the apprenticeship scheme – tailoring it to match the skills and knowledge he learnt on the NVQ Level 2 programme.
Lewis added: “This apprenticeship has taught me things which you just can’t learn in a classroom, so I’ve gained lots of hands-on experience and confidence. I’m really enjoying it here and it really is a great place to work.
“I’d recommend apprenticeships to anyone because you are learning every day and it’s a good way to get into a full-time career.”
Ryan Clark, CEL Group engineering & quality director, said: “Lewis has been a fantastic addition for us and although he is our first apprentice we now want to take on more.
“He’s an important part of our team here and we’re really pleased with how the apprenticeship programme works for both him and us.
“The assembly and quality check work he does is a very responsible role, but Lewis has grasped it with both hands.
“We’re delighted to have him in our team, he’s making a real difference to our day-to-day operations and has a bright future here.”
CEL Group offers low-cost quality manufacturing and full logistics management to many different industry sectors with over 60% of its products supporting the healthcare sector, including the NHS.
Products range from components to complex fabrications and from assemblies to full box builds.
The Telford Land Deal programme is continuing to go from strength-to-strength - delivering new skills, jobs and homes across the region.
It brings forward former new town sites set aside for development, de-risks them and provides shovel ready land which can be developed for employment and residential use.
The Deal has so far delivered around 2000 jobs, just over 1.5 million sq ft of commercial floor space and just under 1300 homes.
Councillor Eileen Callear (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for visitor economy, employment and skills, said: “It’s fantastic to see that CEL Group are not only benefiting from being in an impressive new facility at Hortonwood West but also that apprentices are part of their future growth plans.
“Lewis is going from strength-to-strength at the CEL Group and it’s pleasing to see his apprenticeship has led to a full-time role for him and he has become a valued member of the team.”
If you are interested in becoming a Warehouse Operative apprenticeship with CEL Group, please click here to find out more about the apprenticeship.
Or for more information, please call 01952 586060 or visit www.cel.uk.net
Photo: Lewis Gilbert on the assembly line at CEL Group's Hortonwood West base.