The leading materials supplier and supply chain solutions provider – thyssenkrupp Materials UK, has welcomed two new engineering apprentices at its plate cutting and CNC machining hub in Preston. The business started opening several engineering apprenticeships earlier this year and has witnessed numerous positive results from bringing the young generation into the industry. As thyssenkrupp Materials UK has an extensive in-house capability – from one of the largest waterjet cutting facilities in the country to an innovative coil processing site, the company can offer apprentices an exciting and technology-focused experience while closing the skills gap in engineering. This way, the teams are building a sustainable future for the business.
To attract the right talent, thyssenkrupp Materials UK undertook a thorough and engaging approach in recruiting the apprentices. The process started with the company’s team of specialists working closely with the local colleges and apprenticeship suppliers – something the business will continue developing. The vacancies were advertised directly through the new careers portal that thyssenkrupp Materials UK launched last year. The next step was reviewing the applications with questions that showed the candidates’ personalities and passions. The apprentices were then invited to spend a day with the business, which consisted of a presentation, fun quizzes to get to know the organisation and tours around the shop floor.
The two successful apprentices at thyssenkrupp Materials UK – Preston are pursuing Business Admin in Logistics and Transport qualification and Maintenance in Engineering qualification. They enjoy the opportunity to learn and get experience while being paid and have applied at thyssenkrupp Materials UK due to its employee-focused vision. The apprentices also enjoy working with the teams at the Preston site and find the work for the aerospace industry very rewarding. So far, they have been working on assignments, different process flows and the plate cutting machines. Both apprentices appreciate how the company has created the scope of opportunity to progress their careers – from planning and maintenance to management and engineering. With the arrival of the apprentices, the company has invested resources and renovated the maintenance and transport facilities on the shop floor.
The mentors are helping the apprentices as much as possible by providing specialist knowledge and years of experience. Martin Butler, Maintenance Engineer at thyssenkrupp Materials UK, comments: “I started as an Electrical Contractor Apprentice myself. After my apprenticeship, I even managed my own contracting business, where I served thyssenkrupp Materials UK for over 13 years. During this time, I have built a great relationship with the company, and it was an easy transition for me to join the teams. In my opinion, apprenticeships are key to the continuous improvement of the business because they bring new energy and fresh ideas. I am pleased to be able to support our apprentices with my knowledge in both mechanical and electrical engineering.”
The company also understands that it can build its next great leaders via such apprenticeships as later down the line, if they develop into managerial roles, they will possess a valuable understanding of complex processes, machines and systems. Glenn Blakeman, National Transport Manager at thyssenkrupp Materials UK, explains: “As a rapidly expanding business, it’s essential to develop our own young talent to future-proof our growth. Even now, our apprentices have already delivered some impressive improvements. They are not afraid to question the status quo, and we are on a learning curve with them. They make us think about why we are doing things a certain way and challenge us to continue to improve.”
Because of the positive experience the business has had with the engineering apprentices, the company has opened other supporting roles, such as a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. At present, thyssenkrupp Materials UK has also announced that the teams are working towards the Engineering Apprenticeships Employer Kitemark accreditation by Make UK and Next Gen Makers and are planning on launching a business-wide apprenticeship program by next year.
About thyssenkrupp Materials UK
thyssenkrupp Materials UK offers a vast range of products and a wealth of experience in sourcing and supplying products such as stainless steel, aluminium and mild steel. The company also provides a range of services, whether it be fully welded and fabricated finished parts or bespoke flat products cut to exact sizes. To help reduce inventory and costs, thyssenkrupp Materials UK specialises in supply chain management and logistics solutions.