Icon Plastics has unveiled plans to expand its commitment to apprenticeships.

Tom Walsh, from Normanby, is the first apprentice to be taken on by the precision injection moulding firm, which has ambitions to recruit further trainees.

The 20-year-old, who is a mechanical electrical apprentice, as well as receiving practical on-the-job experience, attends Hartlepool College of Further Education once a week.

Training is integral to Icon Plastics with all of its employees trained to at least NVQ level two in Plastics and Processing.

Gareth Thomas, Icon Plastics Managing Director, said: “Recruiting what will become the next generation of skilled workers is important to the firm if we are to continue to meet the needs of existing and potential customers.

“We also are committed to helping all our staff meet their full potential and to developing home grown talent, which is why employee training and personal development is a core to the business.”

Phil Walker, Icon Plastics Operations Director, said: “Apprenticeship offer bright school leavers the opportunity to embark on a solid career path where they gain both hands-on experience and classroom-based training.

“Tom is proving to be a dedicated member of the team, who is eager to learn and we are so pleased with his progress that we are looking to take at least one more apprentice on board.”

Tom said: “My apprenticeship is giving me the grounding to forge, what I hope will be, a successful career with Icon Plastics and I am looking forward to becoming a fully qualified member of staff.”

Icon Plastics, which employs 37 staff, recently invested £180,000 in a new technology taking investment at its Durham Lane Industrial Estate premises at Eaglescliffe to £1 million.

Pic caption: Apprentice Tom Walsh with Icon Operations Director Phil Walker and Managing Director Gareth Thomas