Largest trainee intake for engineer

Industrial titan Sheffield Forgemasters has launched its largest ever apprenticeship recruitment with plans to take on 33 trainees this year.

Sheffield Forgemasters is looking for 33 apprentices to join the engineering firm in September. Picture by Simon Hulme
Sheffield Forgemasters is looking for 33 apprentices to join the engineering firm in September. Picture by Simon Hulme

The engineering specialist said the roles would cover positions across the company ranging from bricklayer to degree students as it seeks to future-proof the business against an ageing workforce and source new skills.

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) will start the process during summer with the appointments made in September.

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It will offer fully paid, four-year apprenticeships to applicants from across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and adopt all new Government approved training standards, funding and assessment plans.

Rick Frankeiss, group training manager at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “This is an extraordinary opportunity for 33 forward thinking individuals to establish life-long careers and good salaries, not to mention the chance to progress to the top ranks of this business.

“The people we take on this year will be fundamental to the future of this company as we plan ahead and look at succession and retirements within our operations. It is a massive commitment by the company in terms of wages, training fees and mentoring time, but it is an investment for the long-term.”

He added: “The apprenticeships will require us to adopt entirely new systems for training in line with guidelines and structures established by the Institute for Apprenticeships in London, including more detailed mentoring and end-point assessment for the first time.

“We have to grow our own skills base because our work is unique and we are looking for trainees in such jobs as pattern making, machining, foundry work, maintenance roles, welding, fitting and research and development – it covers most of our operations.”

Sheffield Forgemasters has been a staunch champion of apprenticeships since a management buyout in 2005 and its chief executive, Dr Graham Honeyman is also chairman of the Engineering and Manufacturing Route Panel at the Institute for Apprenticeships.

Mr Frankeiss added: “As we have taken three apprentices on so far in 2018, the total intake this year will be 36. We expect any candidates to be prepared for a rigorous selection process with shortlisting followed by an assessment centre and then a final interview.”

The largest number of apprenticeships taken in a year at Sheffield Forgemasters is 28, making this the company’s biggest single intake and the company has recorded an average of between 30 and 50 good applications for each vacancy in previous years.

All of the apprenticeships will be advertised on the website and also via the Sheffield College, which partners Forgemasters.

The company is a world leader in the delivery of engineering research and development projects, forging technologies, steelmaking and ultra-large steel castings. It can trace its Sheffield roots back for more than 200 years.

Former apprentice Gareth Barker, has progressed through the ranks to become director of operations and a member of the executive board of directors.