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First sector-specific apprenticeship for metals recycling industry launched

MRGO Apprenticeship
The first cohort of the MRGO Apprenticeship


Sir Gerry Berragan
First metal recycling apprenticeship opened by Sir Gerry Berragan

Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) launched the first sector-specific apprenticeship for the metals recycling industry last month. The Metal Recycling General Operative (MRGO) is a level 2 apprenticeship open to employees of any age and is a 12-18-month assessment covering a number of industry areas that reflect the complexities faced by those working in metals recycling.

The pilot phase has apprentices from ELG, EMR, Recycled Products, Recycling Lives, S. Sackers, S. Norton and Sims Metal Management.

Apprentices will learn about the many areas of knowledge needed to fulfil an operative role in a metal recycling yard, including: environmental policy and procedures such as fire prevention plans; how to work in accordance with current legislation, including the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013; how to accept hazardous/non-hazardous materials; and, industry-specific health and safety procedures such as Safe Systems of Work and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health.

At the official launch which was held at EMR in Willesden, Antonia Grey, Public Affairs and Communication Manager, British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) said: “The apprenticeship was developed because we recognised the need for sector-specific qualifications, not only to bring new talent into the industry but also to provide a career path for those working in the sector. The scheme will also allow experienced employees in different areas to pass on valuable knowledge, which is often lost if they leave.

”The apprenticeship can be tailored to suit yards of any size and, in an unusual move for a level 2 apprenticeship, we built in the opportunity for the apprentice to specialise in one of five areas: weighbridge, material classification, end-of-life vehicles, materials handling and waste electrical and electronic equipment.

First metal recycling apprenticeship
First metal recycling apprenticeship opened by Sir Gerry Berragan – EMR Group CEO, Chris Sheppard, fifth from left, leads the your of EMR Willesden

“We see the apprenticeship as a first step in promoting the metals recycling sector as a STEM employer. We will look to work with organisations that promote metals recycling and STEM, with myself and fellow BMRA representatives becoming STEM ambassadors.”

Susie Burrage, BMRA President added: “The government apprenticeship levy gives small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to train employees in skills that are relevant to metals recycling. By supporting the industry from the ground up and giving young people the necessary training in key business areas, we hope that we can plug the skills gap, and keep metals recycling at the forefront of the circular economy.”

Afterwards, Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships said “I want to congratulate the industry as a whole for developing the new apprenticeship and end point assessment.

“This is a fine example of one of the key things that we are trying to achieve through the Institute – the introduction of new high quality apprenticeships for sectors that have not had them before.

“Each new apprenticeship starts with a blank sheet of paper and takes a huge amount of hard work and dedication from the employers, with support from the IfA, to get it to a point where it is ready to launch.

“I was delighted to be able to help them celebrate reaching this point.”

The apprenticeship will be rolled out to subsequent cohorts from March next year.

After completing the apprenticeship, candidates will also be encouraged to join the Young British Metals Recyclers (YBMR), the BMRA’s initiative targeted at those in the industry who are under 35. It gives members a helpful resource by providing learning and development along with bespoke training that can enhance their own reputation within the company that they work, develop their customer relationships and improve their career progression.

You can learn more about the apprenticeship on the Institute for Apprenticeships website

The apprenticeship also has its own social media accounts: 

Twitter: @MRGO_Apprentice 

Facebook: MRGOApprentice



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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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