The company, a specialist in cold forming and CNC machining, already has nine apprentices and will add up to four more this summer.
The recruitment process will start at a company open day in February. After this, candidates will go through a challenging interview process, and a test. The most promising are invited back for a week’s work experience – with the top three or four being taken on permanently.
Ken Toop, senior process development engineer at Dawson Shanahan, says: “It encourages local schools to see us as a preferred employer. It’s a good way to promote engineering in the area and it helps us source the various skills that will further enhance our operations.”
In their first year, apprentices spend three days a week at college; in their second year this drops to one day, as they spend more time in different departments and in the company’s training school learning key theory – including engineering drawing – and technical skills such as ‘speeds and feeds’.
The training school is a separate area within the factory dedicated to apprentice training. As well as having classroom facilities, it includes a range of equipment including a new CNC wire-eroding machine. In future, the school will also be used to help existing staff members improve their skills, says Toop.
The apprenticeship scheme has already produced two ‘time-served’ apprentices, who now work full-time in the toolroom.
“We’re looking for all-rounders,” says Toop. “People who can solve problems, but are also computer-literate and able to program. Anyone who would like to learn more about our scheme and our upcoming open day can learn more on the Dawson Shanahan website.”
FANUC assists in global skills study led by former engineering apprentice
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