Apprentices must be heard

Apprentices are being urged to make their views known to ensure they and future generations receive the advice, training and career they deserve. The Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) – which has been the leading voice for apprentices since 2013 – is launching its third annual survey, designed to provide a picture of the apprentice community’s views on the key issues affecting vocational pathways. The survey, which is launched today Thursday 14th January 2016 and is running until Friday 19th February 2016 will cover a range of areas including the wider and changing perceptions of Apprenticeships, satisfaction with apprentices’ own career choices, and the advice and guidance they were given before becoming an apprentice. Results are due to be published in the spring and will be used to inform employers, educators, training providers and the Government as to their policies on apprentices. Founded by EAL, the specialist awarding organisation for industry, the IAC is such an important voice on apprenticeships both now and in the future that Semta has added its expertise in skills, collaborating with EAL to ensure the voices of today’s apprentices have even more airtime given the significant Government focus on apprenticeships. Ann Watson, chief executive of Semta, the not-for-profit organisation tasked with skilling engineering and manufacturing in the UK, said: “The IAC has the backing of some of the UK’s largest employers and consists of apprentices across the engineering and manufacturing sectors. “It is firmly established as the leading voice of industry apprentices, taking input and feedback from the wider community and representing apprentices at the highest level, in Parliament. “This work continues throughout the year, as...

SEMTA – to engage with Employers and Government

SMEs Need Help Semta has welcomed the clarity on the apprenticeship levy given in the Government’s Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review. The not-for-profit employer-led skills organisation which represents 146,000 employers in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering sector, said it was vital all sides now work together to make sure implementation of the levy is fair, workable and affordable. Ann Watson chief executive of Semta said “We now know the apprenticeship levy is 0.5% – the first rate suggested by Professor Lady Alison Wolf in her report on vocational education. We will be consulting with the employers we represent and support them in every way we can ahead of its implementation in 2017. “While £15,000 to offset the impact on employers is to be welcomed it is important to note, with the levy affecting employers with a wage bill of £3 million or more, many SMEs could end up paying the levy and not just the big businesses as has been suggested. “The detail of how it will work needs to have employers at its heart so we support the creation of a business-led levy group to work out how the levy is put into practice and stand ready to play our part. “However, Semta firmly believes, supported by the employers we represent, that the AME sector should take full ownership of the levy to help us deliver the 800,000 new entrants we need between now and 2020. “Semta has recently supported employers in the research and publication of detailed plans as to how to create sustainable models for apprenticeships Apprenticeships for Future – Governance Model Report for AME...

IAC Apprenticeships lead the way to Brazil

Developing talent through apprenticeship schemes has always been a primary objective for Industrial Automation and Control Ltd (IAC) of Newport and this has been recognised with one of their apprentices, Luke Elsmore, being selected to represent the UK in the WorldSkills event being held in Sao Paulo, Brazil between 11th and 18th August 2015. IAC manufacture industrial control systems at their state of the art factory in Newport and specialise in the application of variable speed drive technology. The company was formed in 1989 and offers companies a complete turnkey solution from conception, design and manufacture, through to installation and operation of industrial controls. Training and professional development have always been paramount to the fulfilment of the company’s mission statement and approximately 80% of the 65 strong workforce have all come through apprenticeships. A typical apprenticeship involves spending time in 6 different departments over a 4 year period. During that time, an apprentice can expect to gain experience in manufacturing, testing, the drawing office, service, design engineering and sales, broadening their knowledge before they specialise in any one particular area. The longest servicing employee who came through as an apprentice in 1970 as an electrician is Dave Pring. After serving time on the shop floor and travelling the world as a commissioning engineer, Dave has joined the Internal Sales team as a Senior Engineer. In stark contrast, the youngest serving apprentice is George Harvey who joined in August 2014. Another apprentice, Luke Elsmore joined IAC in 2011 and after the initial interview told his parents that it was where he wanted to work. In 2013, Luke was entered for...
Swap scheme broadens skills of apprentices

Swap scheme broadens skills of apprentices

Engineering apprentices from Schaeffler (UK) Ltd and Varian Medical Systems (VMS) Ltd are benefiting from a scheme set up by the two companies to help broaden the knowledge, skills and experience of their apprentices. The Apprentice Swap Scheme, which was introduced in 2012, involves two engineering apprentices from each company exchanging their roles for three to five days. By doing this, the trainees gain an appreciation of what it is like to work in a different type of manufacturing environment, as well as getting an opportunity to learn new disciplines. Schaeffler and Varian know each other very well. As a manufacturer of precision bearings and automotive engine components, Schaeffler UK’s plant in Llanelli, South Wales is a high volume, highly automated production environment, with a mix of CNC machinery, automated handling and assembly lines, a deep drawing press, coating plants and heat treatment furnaces. Varian is a world leader in the design and manufacture of radiotherapy machines, equipment and software, and employs around 220 people at its UK plant in Crawley, Sussex. Although the number of employees at Llanelli and Crawley are similar, Crawley is predominantly an assembly plant that builds and tests more than 600 complex high value medical machines and patient couches, in low to medium volumes, each year. Schaeffler UK has been supplying high precision linear guidance systems to Varian for use on their patient couches for over 10 years. Gareth Gravell, toolroom technician at Schaeffler UK, comments: “Our working relationship with Varian is very good. The two companies have very similar cultures, in that we are always looking to continuously improve our products and we...

‘See Inside Manufacturing’, opens doors for Liam Smith

After attending a See Inside Manufacturing open day at Schaeffler UK in 2012, 18-year old Liam Smith is now enjoying life as an engineering apprentice toolmaker at the company’s Llanelli plant in South Wales. “The See Inside Manufacturing [SIM] open day at Schaeffler UK in 2012 was a real eye-opener for me. I particularly enjoyed the engineering challenges we were set on the day, as these tested our problem solving and team working skills. These challenges, as well as the guided tour of the factory, gave me a taste of what it is like to work in an engineering environment,” enthuses Liam Smith, engineering apprentice toolmaker at Schaeffler UK’s Llanelli plant. “The guided tour was fantastic. For the first time, I got the chance to see the variety of machines used in a high speed, high volume production environment. I saw a CNC machine tool for the first time and couldn’t believe the fine tolerances that the Schaeffler plant works to. Seeing all this made up my mind that I wanted to work in a practical, hands-on engineering role,” he continues. Early inspiration Prior to attending the SIM open day, Liam was unsure about his future career plans. In his early years, Liam attended Cross Hands primary school in Llanelli, where, he says, he had no thoughts whatsoever about working in engineering. It wasn’t until Maes yr Yrfa secondary school that Liam first started to consider a career in engineering. As he puts it: “My grandfather had a workshop in his garden, where he was always making things. I was lucky enough to be allowed to use his lathe,...
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The one leading voice for the Fluid & Power Transmission Industry - Saturday, December 16th 2017
****ISSUE 81 - DEADLINE DATES - EDITORIAL & PICS 10/11 - ADVERTISING A/W 17/11 -PUBLICATION DATE W/C 13/12****