Robotics experts benefit from MTC apprentices
The head of a leading Midlands firm of robotics engineers says the company’s success can be attributed to its commitment to apprenticeships.
Fraser Reid, managing director of Warwickshire-based Cyber-Weld Ltd, says apprentices are making a significant contribution to the business. More than half of the Cyber-Weld workforce are either apprentices in training or who have recently completed their training. The company has been taking business-ready apprentices from the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre for the last seven years.
Cyber-Weld has taken on part-trained apprentices undergoing their four year course. He says the apprentices who have been trained at the MTC are skilled in engineering basics, have the discipline required in the workplace, and a proven ability to learn.
“MTC apprentices are generally of a very high standard. They have been exposed to modern manufacturing techniques as well as being schooled in the basics. We are able to train them in the full range of disciplines here and they are a real asset. They return our commitment to them and their training with loyalty and we have a very good retention rate,” he said.
Cyber-Weld, which was founded in 1999 and has its manufacturing facilities in Southam, supplies robotic engineering and robot integration services to a range of sectors including automotive, nuclear, aerospace and oil and gas. The business has more than 150 customers worldwide.
The company currently employs three MTC apprentices. Matthew Pierson, who has completed his course and is going on to a degree qualification funded by Cyber-Weld, Dalraj Singha and Ben Ellis who are both in their third year.
Fraser Reid said they place a great deal of trust in their apprentices and are rewarded by loyalty and a genuine contribution to the bottom line.
“With an appropriate level of supervision we encourage our apprentices to use their initiative. They are involved in specifying and purchasing software, developing processes and working on profitable projects. In turn they impress and earn the respect of our clients. Supported by the MTC’s infrastructure, we get young, versatile and experienced employees with a wide range of skills vital to our business,” he said.
David Hughes MBE, interim managing director of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, said, “MTC apprentices are exactly what manufacturing industry needs to fill the high-tech jobs of the future. Our apprenticeship courses have the advantage of not being company-specific or sector-specific, so the result is a fully-rounded apprentice capable of filling the most demanding of manufacturing and engineering positions. Several of our apprentices have gone on to win awards and accolades for their skills. Fraser at Cyber-Weld is one of many employers who are finding that an MTC-trained apprentice is a real asset to their business.”
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.