A successful Peterborough engineering business has bolstered its workforce by recruiting additional staff.
Westcombe Engineering based in Royce Road, manufactures engine components and is fulfilling its vision to create skilled employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The company, which was set up in 1970 and is wholly owned by Peterborough City Council, has recently taken on Ernestas Sarapinas and Michaela Fuller.
Ernestas has been employed as an Apprentice CNC Machinist and will work his way through a four year apprenticeship towards a Level 3 Diploma in advanced manufacturing engineering machining and also a Level 3 Diploma in machining at Peterborough Regional College, combined with on the job training at the firm’s factory.
Michaela will be the firm’s second Internship student and will combine two days a week of Maths, English and Engineering workshops at Peterborough Regional College over the next 12 months, with three days a week of site-based learning and training.
Westcombe Engineering and Peterborough Regional College have run a successful internship programme since 2016, giving students with additional needs the opportunity to secure work placements and develop their skills.
Andrew Lesiw, Managing Director of Westcombe Engineering, said: “Almost 50 years after being established, we are proud to say we are a commercially successful UK business and that over 65 per cent of our workforce has a disability.
“We continue to be unique as a business in what we do and how we operate within the manufacturing industry - we know of nobody else within the UK, Europe and indeed across the world doing what we do. Our aim is to use our successful business model as a best practice showpiece within the industry, demonstrating to employers very loudly and clear that disability is not a barrier to success.
“We recognise that continued growth and success of our business is only achievable by attracting talented individuals like Ernestas and Michaela to join our existing highly skilled, committed and experienced workforce.
“Many of our existing employees have been with us for more than 25 years. In fact, our longest serving employee is fast approaching his 42nd year. They all hold an enormous amount of job knowledge, expertise and skill, so succession planning is a key driver for us to ensure we retain these key attributes within the business and that these are passed onto new employees joining us.”
Councillor David Seaton, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for resources, said: “Westcombe Engineering is one of the city’s, and the council’s, biggest success stories. It’s a shining example of what can be achieved when you offer people with a range of disabilities the opportunity to use their skills and talents in the same way as anyone else.
“Staff at Westcombe are highly skilled, committed and loyal - what more could an employer ask for from their staff?
“In the past three years ,sales have risen 60 per cent and the team has become adept at marketing the business and attracting new customers. They will continue to focus on further raising the profile of the business to continue to expand its customer base.
“Above all else, stay fully committed to their principles and social responsibility by giving disabled people the opportunities they are still regretfully denied today by so many employers. Continuing to adhere to this commitment, whilst attracting new business opportunities will ensure the future of Westcombe Engineering will be secure for another half century and beyond.”
For more information about Westcombe Engineering please visit www.westcombeengineering.com