School leavers engineer apprenticeships at Caunton Engineering

Local school leavers are helping ensure that vital engineering skills are being assured for the future by taking advantage of apprenticeship opportunities created by local company Caunton Engineering and Aldercar Community Language College.

A close relationship between the Aldercar school - a local Vocational Specialist School - and Caunton, which is one of the UK’s leading constructional steelwork contractors, will help ensure that constructional steelwork skills are available to meet growing demand for steel framed buildings.

Demand for constructional steelwork skills has been growing rapidly as the UK increasingly switches to steel for building frames, with over 70% of multi storey buildings and over 90% of single storey buildings now using steel. Steel is playing a major part in public sector building programmes, in sectors like healthcare and education.

To met the demand specialist local firms like Caunton Engineering need a steady flow of young people willing to be trained in the variety of technical skills like plating and welding, and able to take a further step into areas like estimating and detail drawing.

Caunton reports that youngsters from Aldercar Community Language College who have benefited from temporary work placements and company visits with Caunton, are winning permanent jobs and places on the company’s apprenticeship programme. “There is a shortage of the skills our industry needs locally and there has been a general shortage of apprenticeships made available to young people in all trades in recent years,” says Caunton’s Marketing Director Geoffrey Taylor.

“Thanks to our close relationship with Aldercar we have found some excellent local young people who showed the blend of aptitude and enthusiasm we are looking for. Several have been training in the Caunton Training Academy and some have already moved onto production roles.”

Pictured are Caunton Training Academy Manager James State with three of his current trainees, Matthew Holland, Thomas Syson and Luke Cottrell, all from Giltbrook. Each of the three spent five years at Aldercar Community Language College – which despite its name is a successful school for engineering students - leaving with GCSE’s. They work a four day week in Caunton’s factory and spend one day a week undertaking City & Guilds and NVQ work on a day release basis.

Mr State said: “I am delighted with the performance of the apprentices we have recruited through our close relationship with Aldercar. The experience we are able to give them on the production line or in the estimating or detailing office is vital in their development, and is balanced by the more theoretical, book-learning they are given through the Academy. We are training for the whole business and there is scope for advancement as far as their abilities can take them.”

Matthew, who has been with Caunton for a year, said: “I think we will have a great future in the constructional steelwork industry with the training we are being given. I have decided I would like to work in estimating and I have applied to specialise in that.”

Thomas, who joined Caunton two months ago, said he first became interested in engineering after a day visit to the company: “The day visits are a really good idea as ours gave me the idea that this was something I would like to do. The opportunities look very exciting.”

Aldercar Community Language College Principal Mr A.W.Cooper has thanked Caunton for its help. “I thank Caunton for the hard work, time and resources that they have applied to allow for a thoroughly successful work placement programme. I am delighted to hear that our former students are doing so well in their training.”

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