Intelect hosts Minister as part of National Apprenticeship Week

As businesses around the country celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Middlesbrough engineering company, Intelect were delighted to welcome the Rt Hon Robert Halfon, Minister for Apprenticeships, Skills and Higher Education as part of the occasion.

Marking 25 years of their award-winning apprenticeship programme this year, Intelect have been committed to growing their own workforce and investing in skills for the future for decades.

Arriving in the North East to start his country wide tour as part of National Apprenticeship Week, Minister Halfon was welcomed by Intelect’s Managing Director, Fran Cormican, and Directors Kevan Thomas and Steve Gent. As a former apprentice himself, Fran has always been an advocate for apprenticeships, engraining them in Intelect’s business model from the outset.

During the visit, The Minister engaged with Intelect’s past and present apprentices, including Dave Brown, one of the company’s first apprentices, Dave Eason, Lee Robson, Ben Robinson and Ella Tebble, highlighting how the companies ‘train to retain’ ethos has aided them in the challenge against skills shortages over the years.

Minister Halfon with Intelect’s first T-Level student, Jack Ovington.


Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “As a small business, Intelect has put apprentices at the heart of its development and provided a ladder of opportunity to over 150 local people over the past 25 years via apprenticeships, investing in the skills of the next generation in Middlesbrough.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses to recruit and train talented workers and really help drive social mobility in regions like Teesside. With companies like Intelect, we truly are building a skills and apprenticeships nation.”

The visit also included a meeting with Middlesbrough Colleges’ Chief Executive and Principal, Zoe Lewis. With the College being one of Intelect’s longest standing training partners, both Zoe and Fran discussed with the Minister about the importance of supporting both businesses and the education sector when it comes to driving the uptake of apprenticeships, particularly as overall apprenticeship numbers have halved in the Tees Valley since reforms, with Intelect being an exception to this.

Intelect’s Managing Director, Fran Cormican said, “It’s been a privilege to welcome The Minister to Intelect today to showcase our apprenticeship programme and some of the fantastic people we have working here.

“Apprenticeships are a vital tool when it comes to driving innovation and growth, and we will continue to be an advocate for them, as we understand the benefits these opportunities can provide not only to the people completing them, but to the business too.

“The future is looking bright in the Tees Valley, and it’s great to hear about all of the positive news stories and investments that are happening in our region, however it’s equally as important that we see these businesses, and others in the area, investing in apprenticeships and training, to ensure that enough local people are equipped with the right skills for the future, unlocking the true potential of our area and driving the prosperity it deserves.”

Over 150 local people have successfully passed through Intelect’s apprenticeship programme since its inception in 1998, and at present 29% of their workforce are currently completing an apprenticeship; they have also recently taken on their first T-Level student.

After taking on a record number of apprentices in 2022, Intelect plans to continue with its long-standing commitments, and will be opening applications for their next intake in summer this year.