Gateshead signage firm Astley in search of young talent

Gateshead manufacturer is opening up new apprenticeship opportunities as it prepares for Great North Run project

Current Astley apprentices, from left, James Robinson, Ian Dickson, Tom Milne and Jack Carr
Current Astley apprentices, from left, James Robinson, Ian Dickson, Tom Milne and Jack Carr

One of the country’s leading sign manufacturing companies is launching a new training and development programme, including four apprenticeship positions to be filled in the coming months, as it prepares to install the Great North Run sign on the Tyne Bridge.

Astley, which is headquartered at Team Valley, Gateshead, and also has facilities in Leeds, Milton Keynes and Glasgow, has been in business for over 90 years and underwent a management buyout in 1990.

The firm, which now employs nearly 120 people, is currently undergoing a major review of its succession planning programme and, as part of that, will invest heavily in attracting talented young people who can be trained on the job with a view to securing full-time employment.

The announcement comes as Astley is preparing to install of sign on the side of the Tyne Bridge, marking the Great North Run. This will remain in place for six weeks in the build up to the half-marathon, which this year will see over 1m runners having taken part so far.

Astley sales director and co-owner David Forrester said: “A big priority for the company is to invest in the younger generation, who can be trained and mentored in house and will complement our experienced workforce. I see this as key to the continued growth and success of the business.

“We’ve recently begun the search for talented young people who we think have the potential to contribute to our ambitious plans, which will be implemented in the coming months, and have just taken on four apprentices who will be put through an intensive training and development programme across all areas of the business. It’s an excellent opportunity for them to join a growing and ambitious company.”

Forrester added that this was only start of the process and that the firm was already looking for four more apprentices to come on board.

“It’s a really exciting time for the business as we look to build our portfolio and increase turnover across all of our target markets,” he said.

Astley’s portfolio of clients includes many of the UK’s leading blue chip brands, including the Hilton Hotel Group, Frankie and Benny’s, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, the Co-operative Group and Esso. The firm, named Tyneside and Northumberland Manufacturer of the Year at the 2014 North East Business Awards, has also designed signs for leisure and shopping facilities. such as the MetroCentre, Gatesehad, and Intu Eldon Square.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer