Nadine Dorries visits ATG
The MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, Nadine Dorries, visited Automated Technology Group’s head office in Silsoe recently to see how an engineering SME is bucking the economic trend to experience rapid growth.
Mrs Dorries – who recently returned from filming the ITV show ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ in the Australian jungle – was welcomed by ATG’s CEO, Andy Robinson, and his staff at the company’s factory in Wrest Park. Mr Robinson gave the MP a guided tour of the facility and explained how the group had managed to continue growing throughout the recession.
As well as being snapped by ATG’s own photographer, Mrs Dorries was being filmed by the BBC for a new feature on Britain’s skills agenda. Mrs Dorries was very interested in how ATG has tackled the current skills gap in the engineering sector. “This firm has taken the bull by the horns to create its own apprenticeship scheme. This is the kind of pro-active approach that will get Britain off its knees and we need to repeat this kind of success story,” she said. ATG’s Autotech Academy took on its first 21 apprentices in October. The young people are receiving a mixture of on-the-job training and technical learning, delivered in association with Semta (the government-licensed Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) and Bedford Training Group Ltd, a local supplier of vocational training that specialises in engineering. Commented Andy Robinson, “We’re very pleased with the start made by our apprentices. They are hard working, enthusiastic and fast learners, which is exactly what we need.”