ASSA ABLOY hosted a successful locksmith apprentice open day at its Portobello site in the West Midlands, as part of its commitment to the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) apprenticeship scheme and future of the locksmithing industry.

Launched last year by Skills for Security and the MLA in partnership with ASSA ABLOY the apprentice scheme is designed to professionalise the industry by focusing on the development of skills amongst the next generation of locksmiths. Equipping them with the practical skills and knowledge needed to not only thrive in the industry but also encourage future growth, the scheme has already received industry-wide support in its foundation year.

As part of delivering this objective, ASSA ABLOY played host to 10 apprentices from across the UK, all of whom are signed up to the Locksmith Level 2 Apprenticeship. The full day, which covered both practical skills and an understanding of the marketplace and product development, received high praise from those who attended.

Steve Ross from ASSA ABLOY and part of the team who delivered the training day, explains:

“We based the open day at ASSA ABLOY around the theme of past, present and future, with sessions including market evaluation, factory tours and practical lock assembly.    

The second half of the day was focused on the future, something that is not only essential to ASSA ABLOY as it develops its smart living products, but also an issue that locksmiths need to consider now to ensure their future positioning and growth. We take our responsibility very seriously and must ensure that we make the apprentices as prepared as possible for life in our industry as well as making sure that they understand and appreciate how their skills need to adapt and grow with the changes in the locksmith market.”

Paul Browne, Chief Technology Officer and Business Development Director for ASSA ABLOY UK, added:

“A career as a locksmith can offer more than ever before as the industry enters a period of transition and growth. As well as refining core skills integral to professional locksmiths, ASSA ABLOY hopes to help train and promote the new skills needed to capitalise on the rise of electro-mechanical and digital locking products.

“We hope that the open day at ASSA ABLOY encouraged and enthused the apprentices and helped them see the opportunities this career can hold.”

Open day attendees all received personalised mementos from the day, including an engraved padlock, glass placard and the lock cases, which they assembled. With positive feedback being reported to both the MLA and Skills for Security, the next apprentice open day hosted by ASSA ABLOY is planned for the new year.