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Mayor Meets Key Workers - 5th July 2021

A brand new apprentice starting work got a special welcome to the job from Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

Matt Wingfield is the latest addition to the team at Gem Security Systems.

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris was visiting the company as part of his Jobs & Skills Summit so he could hear first-hand from apprentices at the Hengrove business.

Apprentice Matt told Metro Mayor Dan Norris: “After gaining a placement with Gemsec, I’m excited for what the future holds. I have always been interested in learning a trade and this apprenticeship is allowing me to do this, all whilst earning a customer service qualification.

“After just a few days, I feel settled into the workplace and I can’t wait to develop my locksmithing skills as I work towards a long career in this fast-growing company. I would recommend anyone to seek a similar opportunity with the West of England Apprenticeship Service and WTPN, the opportunity to earn as you learn is one that nobody should pass up and the support I have received from Next Level Training during the entire process has been amazing.”

Matt, who was previously working in a distribution warehouse, was attracted to the apprentice scheme because he thought there were more opportunities to learn new skills and progress his career. Now at Gem Securities he will learn all the skills of the trade – from traditional keys cutting, to installing steel doors, to programming the latest tech.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “This is an apprenticeship that offers a real gem of an opportunity. It’s great to meet apprentices like Matt who are getting stuck in to new careers with quality training and support from their employer. I want to make sure that more people across the West of England have opportunities to develop their skills and secure well-paid, fulfilling jobs.”

The Mayor also met Phil Edmonds, the company’s boss, who explained how Gem Security accessed funding support for one of their apprentice’s training through a scheme called “Share to Support” run by the West of England Combined Authority, which Metro Mayor Dan Norris leads. Big businesses all pay an “apprenticeship levy” and the Mayor’s scheme redistributes unused cash from bigger firms to smaller local companies like Gem Security.

Phil Edmonds said: “Apprentices are crucial to our business as trained locksmiths are not readily available on the market so we have to grow our own. Working with the West of England Apprenticeship Service has been so easy that we have decided to seek two more apprentices in carpentry and electrics to support the supply and fit side of the business. I am convinced that the future success of the business is dependent on the successful recruiting and development of apprentices.”

For more information on Share to Support, visit


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