Lambert’s back to school to find the next generation of engineers

Lambert: Tadcaster manufacturer goes back to school to grow its own engineers.

Adam Stone with TAD1 Soap Box, an Apprentice led project.
Lambert: Tadcaster manufacturer goes back to school to grow its own engineers. Adam Stone with TAD1 Soap Box, an Apprentice led project.
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A Yorkshire-based engineering firm has been recognised with a national award after helping over 1,000 young people gain an idea of what the industry is all about.

Tadcaster-based Lambert, a provider of automation systems, equipment engineering and precision components, has just hit the 1,000 milestone for working with pupils in nearby primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities.

The manufacturer’s work is geared towards raising the image of industry and attracting the next generation of engineers.

Warren Limbert, managing director at Lambert, said: “Engineering isn’t just our business – we are passionate about it.

“We want to make sure that young people recognise the opportunities that a career in this sector offers and understand the skills that companies like ours are looking to nurture.”

Mr Limbert added: “We shouldn’t expect the Government to do this for us so we decided, as part of our growth strategy, to develop a plan of action that would span from the very grass roots into further and higher education. Furthermore, it would engage our own staff to deliver and drive it.”

Lambert’s work with local educational institutions has been recognised by the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF), who named the business the national winner of its ‘Partnerships with Education’ Award.

Mr Limbert said: “There are nearly 40 employees currently working with schools, colleges and universities on a whole host of projects. These include factory visits, open days for parents and teachers, speed dating with engineers, graduate placements and even sponsoring homework diaries.”

The company said it has enjoyed a major growth in 2015, securing a host of new contracts to secure modular manufacturing platforms for the medical device and packaging sectors.

Sales broke the £26m barrier for the first time in Lambert’s 42-year history and the company increased its workforce by nearly 20 per cent to 183 staff.

It plans to add £8m of new contracts and employ a further 25 people in the coming year.

“Although we are world leaders in automation and bespoke machinery, our success comes from the people who work here and we continually need the next generation of talented manufacturing professionals to join us,” said Mr Limbert.

The group says its apprenticeship scheme has trained 38 young people and that they are continually looking at evolving it to meet demands of an ever-changing industry.

Mr Limbert, who joined the business as a project engineer nearly 20 years ago, said: “This isn’t about getting cheap labour. It’s about developing talented individuals in the culture of Lambert and equipping them with the highest skills possible.”

The apprenticeship scheme sees each apprentice go to college for the first year full-time. They then spend the following twelve months across all the different areas of the business to gain an understanding of what Lambert does.

Mr Limbert added: “Third and fourth years are then focused on their final department destination, with a qualified mentor helping them throughout the duration of their learning.

“In parallel with their training they also continue academic studies with some going to university.

“Outside of the formal training, we also run annual apprentice projects, with this year’s task to build a lightweight football table with no budget.”

The engineering firm says it is currently working with more than a dozen educational establishments.

It all began 43 years ago...

Lambert began in 1973 when Chris Lambert and Peter Wainman came together to make machine parts for the local paper and printing industry.

The business soon outgrew its premises and the company was relocated to Tadcaster. The site remains the base of its operations to this day. Today it employs over 180 people and has a global network of suppliers and partners.