MANCHESTER, England - HMG Paints’ Managing Director, John Falder, is looking to tap into the success of his company’s pioneering Future Entrepreneurship Partnership and develop coordinated apprenticeship and training schemes that can be adopted by small- and medium-sized enterprises across the coatings industry.

The program, which originally began in September 2013, was established alongside Manchester Communication Academy and successfully saw the graduation of its first cohort of students last month. Recent graduate Zara Waseem said, “I really enjoyed my time at HMG Paints and I received a fascinating insight into the business world. It has been a great experience that I wouldn’t have received at school, and I’d definitely recommend it to other students.”

The two-year program saw eight students from Manchester Communication Academy aged between 14 and 16 visit HMG Paints on a weekly basis to receive hands-on experience working within the coatings industry. The students’ were given the opportunity to work and learn within the manufacturing, sales, research and development, and marketing departments, developing important vocational skills, while acquiring a unique understanding of the industry.

“It may seem obvious, but the future of our business is with the young people who we are developing and training from a young age,” said John Falder, who recognizes that investing in the development of the next generation is hugely valuable, not only to the organizations and industries involved but also to the students themselves. “Several of the young people who embarked on our Future Entrepreneurship Partnership are now going on to join HMG at the age of 16 for full apprenticeships. These students are not only ahead of their classmates in terms of business acumen and work ethic, but at the age of 16 they also have superior CVs that will help kick-start their careers”.

Personal development has always been at the heart of HMG’s culture, and the Manchester-based coatings manufacturer has a history of providing training for its employees, as well as working closely with young people from the local community.

Falder is confident that the Future Entrepreneurship Partnership can be established as a benchmark for the industry, saying, “It is not difficult to make contact with the heads of local schools, colleges and universities, and I urge business leaders to seize every training opportunity available to them. I believe that the young people that we invest in today will go on to lead HMG Paints in the future and will have a significant impact upon the coatings industry overall.”

One of the companies eager to incorporate the scheme is the Orrest Group, whose founder Peter Davys, is also OCCA Chairman of the Manchester region and has a long history with HMG Paints and the coatings industry.

Davys, who began his coatings career in 1981 as an apprentice in HMG Paints’ laboratory, is excited by the collaboration between the organizations. “Working at HMG holds many fond memories for me and although it’s been 35 years, it seems like only yesterday that I first met John. By working together, we can develop a variety of apprenticeship and training schemes that will help safeguard the future of the industry.”