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As it celebrates 125 years in the city, Thales opens new Apprentice Training Centre in Glasgow


World-leading engineering and technology company Thales UK will today mark its 125th year of business in Glasgow by opening a new Apprentice Training Centre at its Linthouse Road facility.

Some 700 of Thales UK’s 7,500 workforce are based at the Glasgow site, which designs and manufactures high-tech electro-optic night vision systems and equipment for all three UK Armed Services and other defence forces worldwide. The site is also home to a team of transport specialists that work on communications and safety systems. Around 30 per cent of employees at the Glasgow facility are engineers and scientists.

The original enterprise was established by two Glasgow-based academics, Professor Archibald Barr and Dr William Stroud, who formalised their collaborative relationship with patents granted in 1888. The optronics business that grew from those patents, later becoming part of Thales UK, has been located within the city of Glasgow throughout its 125-year history, moving to its current Linthouse site in 1992.

“Prof. Barr and Dr Stroud placed great emphasis on training and developing employees, a value shared by Thales UK today,” said Stuart Boulton, Vice President of Thales’s global optronics business and head of the Glasgow site. “We couldn’t think of a better way to mark 125 years in business than to reaffirm our commitment to training young people from the local area with valuable engineering, technical and business skills.

“We have eight new apprentices starting this year, and a total of 19 on our Apprentice Training Programme. By marking this important anniversary by investing in a new training centre, we can continue to support our employees within the spirit and original vision of Prof. Barr and Dr Stroud”.

Today the new training centre will be officially opened by the Rt Hon. The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Sadie Docherty, who will be making her first visit to Thales UK’s Glasgow site. The Lord Provost said: “This is a proud day for Thales and Glasgow. I am thrilled to be here to officially open your new Apprentice Training Centre. Your commitment to this city is remarkable and welcome. Your apprenticeships represent a real and lasting legacy for the future. It’s a truly wonderful way to mark your 125th anniversary.”

The Rt Hon. Michael Moore MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, will also be in attendance for Thales UK’s 125th anniversary celebration. “I’m delighted to be here to help celebrate in the investment that Thales is making for the future. Investing in young people is the right thing to do and the apprentices that will be trained here in Glasgow will have a great opportunity to learn from a world-leading company with highly skilled staff”, he said.

“After 125 years Thales continues to be involved in developing some of the most sophisticated technology that bring significant benefits to our armed forces across the world and for this they should be commended.”

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About Thales and Thales UK

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2012, the company generated revenues of €14.2bn (equivalent of £11.5bn) with 67,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.

Thales UK employs 7,500 staff based at 35 locations. In 2012 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3bn.


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