Apprenticeship Week: Family run manufacturing company says apprenticeships allow time for business development

High Precision Wales, run by a father and son team, currently employs two apprentices, making up almost a third of its work force.

Former apprentice himself, managing director Nicky Blake said that there was a skills gap for qualified engineers in the specialist area in which they work. High Precision Wales create products such as jigs, tools and fixtures for the automotive and aerospace industry. The company also offer copy services, reverse engineering, in-house design, 2d drawing and 3d modelling.


Nicky, 50 from Cardiff said: “I’ve been learning about the job since I was about seven years old watching and working with my father.

“We currently employ two apprentices and a former apprentice who is fully qualified and now runs his own section. We’re such a niche employer that you don’t find people out there with these specialist skills, so we decided to employ young people who are eager to learn and teach them ourselves. By doing it this way we can teach them the specific skills and see if they are the right fit with the company.”

The apprenticeships are run in conjunction with TSW Training.


“We have to plan for the future, we are looking to retain the skills currently served by staff members that will retire in the future, so we have to make plans now for then. The skill set for this industry is dominated by the older generation so its up to us to teach the younger generation and future proof our trade.

“We’re one big family here and get great pride in watching the young members of the team progress their skills – it is an investment from us as we have to be around to observe and check through everything but it’s so worth it in the long run.

“The main benefit for us as a business is that our former apprentice Sam, now runs his own section which frees me up to go out and get more business helping us increase our turnover, profits and to allow us to expand.”


Manmeet Singh, 19 from Tylorstown in Pontypridd is an award-winning apprentice currently studying his NVQ level 3 in Engineering Manufacturing.

He said: “I came to High Precision Wales on work experience and just loved that I was doing so much of the cool stuff.

“It is challenging but I’m enjoying learning new things every day and being given the responsibility to just have a go.

“My family were really supportive. I’m the first person from the family to do an apprenticeship, my parents just said to me if I enjoy it and I can do well then to just go for it.

“My plan is to finish my apprenticeship and to stay with the company and help achieve their business goals.”


Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, said: “Apprenticeships can provide the perfect avenue into work, allow companies to find, nurture and develop staff and ensure our economy is supported by a workforce equipped to tackle the challenges of today and which are ready for the opportunities of tomorrow.

“Apprenticeship Week Wales 2020 celebrates the important role apprenticeships play in the Welsh economy, and should encourage business owners to consider the benefits that apprentices bring.

“With the uncertainty caused by Brexit it’s more important than ever for employers to plan for the future; future-proof their workforces and nurture the talent that exists within Wales.

“We are on track to meet its ambitious commitment to create 100,000 all-age, high-quality apprenticeships by the end of this Assembly.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

For more information about hiring an apprentice visit,  Visit Prentisiaethau cymru / Apprenticeships Cymru on Facebook or @apprenticewales on Twitter, and follow the story using the hashtag #AWWales.