Neil Darwin visited the TRB Lightweight Structures, based in St Peters Road, to experience the life as an apprentice first hand. During the visit, as a part of the scheme Back 2 The Floor, Mr Darwin learnt about the manufacturing of composites for the aerospace, rail and various other industries. Mr Darwin said: Apprenticeships are a vital part of the local skills landscape, and have a symbiotic fit with the LEPs overall skills strategy. Being able to go Back 2 the Floor at TRB Lightweight Structures has provided me with a far better insight into the world of apprenticeships in the manufacturing industry than I otherwise would have had. TRB has recently employed two apprentices throughout its work force and are looking to take on more in the coming months through work with Huntingdonshire Regional College. TRB managing director Richard Holland said: Apprenticeships are key to the composites and manufacturing industries as they provide skills to the workforce of the future. The company is currently experiencing a rapid expansion and apprenticeships are a key way in which we are investing in the growth of the business. Other companies that took part in the project included Breheny, Hichingbrooke Hospital and Codem Composites. The Government funds a number of grants schemes that help businesses access funding to train young people as apprentices, including the AGE 16-24 programme and Youth Contract which both help 16-24 year olds gain valuable work experience. To find out more about apprenticeship funding opportunities, visit the Skills Funding Agencys website: www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships.