Manufacturers keep it in the family with apprenticeships

The fourth generation of a Midlands family has successfully completed an apprenticeship course with Midland Group Training Services (MGTS), and landed a permanent role with engineering specialist MNB Precision at a time when the number of unfilled vacancies for manufacturing has risen to 23%.

Manmeet Bhandal has continued a strong family tradition by completing his three year apprenticeship at MNB Precision – joining three generations of his family who have also gone onto enjoy long careers in manufacturing following spells at the MGTS. He is the latest success story to come out MNB’s strong apprenticeship programme, which also helped to train the existing directors of the family-run business.

The 22 year old joins his family of electrical and mechanical engineers as a manufacturing specialist, after learning skills including CNC turning, CAD, manual machining, inspection, testing, and milling whilst at MNB Precision. As he now takes up a permanent role in the business, Mr Bhandal has plans to move into MNB’s design and planning department while studying a BSc Engineering qualification at university.

For Mr Bhandal a career in engineering was always a path he wanted to follow, inspired by the rest of his family, but as he revealed he was something of a unique case throughout his journey through education.

He commented: “I was only one of a handful in my school who wanted to pursue a career in engineering and there weren’t a great deal of courses open to me. Subjects such as the resistant materials GCSE teaches you about product design and planning, but there are a very limited number of courses that teach you real life shopfloor tasks such as machining, milling, and how to manipulate and change a material. It was only when I arrived at MNB and worked with MGTS that I started to develop these important engineering skills.”

MNB’s managing director Luke Benton believes that improved communication between government, industry, and education is the key to instilling the kind of passion and enthusiasm for engineering into other young people going through education.

“The issue with the education system in the UK at the moment is that it is not developing the kind of skills that the factory floor requires,” he observed. “A lot of schools and colleges are run by academics who naturally encourage students to take academic routes to their careers.

“We need to get more manufacturing representatives into education to help demonstrate to young people that there is an alternative route to a long-term career. The kind of work we do with MGTS is training young people in real machine shop disciplines to equip them for the engineering world but this journey really ought to start in the world of education.”

MNB Precision www.mnbprecision.com

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