Dawson Shanahan is expanding the engineering apprenticeship scheme it runs at its Welshpool headquarters. 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 2018. After this, candidates go through an increasingly 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.
The scheme can lead to a variety of qualifications, and has different entry levels. While most candidates join after their GCSEs, some may already have finished A-levels.
“It encourages local schools to see us as a preferred employer,” said Ken Toop, senior process development engineer at Dawson Shanahan, who is in charge of apprentice training. “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 the 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.
The apprenticeship scheme has already produced two time-served apprentices, who now work full-time in the toolroom.
Dawson Shanahan www.dawson-shanahan.co.uk/engineering-apprentice