Hartlepool firm praised for dedication to apprenticeships

Mayor Houchen during the visit.
Mayor Houchen during the visit.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has praised a Hartlepool-based electronics manufacturer for its dedication to apprenticeships.

Merlin Flex produces cutting-edge flexible circuit boards for a number of well-known global clients, including Formula 1 teams, major defence and aerospace firms, and customers in the medical sector.

Mayor Houchen visited the business to discover how they have benefitted from apprenticeship funding, following two successful bids for up to £2,500 to Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Apprenticeship Support for Employers scheme.

Managing director, Mark Merifield, has first-hand experience of on-the-job training, as he began his career on the Youth Training Scheme, while Mayor Houchen also met apprentice Justine Glenn, an accounts technician at the firm.

Mayor Houchen said: “I am a huge believer in vocational training as it gives our young people access to high-quality, sustainable jobs while supporting businesses in key sectors.

“Apprenticeships are central to growing our economy, both in Hartlepool and the wider Tees Valley’s. We need to train and educate the generation of specialist technicians and engineers to meet the needs of Industry. Merlin Flex is a great example of a local business giving local people chances to reach their potential, not to mention another instance of a Tees Valley company working with cutting-edge technology.”

Mr Merifield said: “I started my working life on a training scheme. As an employer, I also understand the brilliant opportunities they offer for business, in recruiting the most eager, brightest workers.