BLACKBURN company Meltech will ‘survive and move on further’ because it commits to training and development which brings local talent through the ranks, according to one of its managers.

The firm, which has an annual turnover of £5.9million, walked away with the Training and Development award, which recognised the company’s investment in its employees.

Proposals and applications manager, Greg Strong, smiled for the camera as he was presented with a trophy and bottle of champagne by Dr Thomas Moore, chief executive of Blackburn College, which sponsored the category.

Mr Strong said: “I was caught totally off guard. I did not expect to win. I’m chuffed, very pleased.

“We’ve got a training and development scheme and five or six apprentices working at Meltech now.

“It’s really good because there’s a load of older people there, and my fear was that I’ve been working there for 10 or 15 years and the experience was going to fade away and die off, but now we have got some youngsters coming through the ranks, Meltech is going to survive and move on further.”

Two new managing directors at the company, appointed in April, were both hired from within the company.

Helen Williams was promoted from the role of marketing director, and Peter Drever was previously sales and marketing director.

The company, which has been trading for more than 30 years, took on six new apprentices this year, and encourages its staff to walk to work every day.

Apprentice Curtis Singleton said: “I’m a mechanical engineer but the company has helped me to develop and do an engineering degree. Hopefully, I will move into sales and the drawing office.”

In keeping with the company’s policy of developing and supporting talent and manufacturing on homesoil, more than 90 per cent of work subcontracted is undertaken within a 50-mile radius of Blackburn.

Mr Strong added: “It’s very much a family and local business and there’s a lot of people who have been there 20 to 25 years. “There’s a lot of encouragement to bring people up through the ranks from the local area.

“We like to keep our subcontracted work in the local area. We take pride in the north west and the quality of work that comes from this area so, where possible, we try to subcontract work in the local area.”