Tuesday, September 17, 2013

News: New starters at Tata Steel

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30 apprentices have begun their training at Tata Steel Speciality Steels in South Yorkshire, the largest intake in three years.

Last week saw the first time the apprentices got together on site when they welcomed a royal visit to Stocksbridge by HRH The Earl of Wessex, alongside their trainers, company officials and local dignitaries. The event was slightly more formal than the apprentice team building day recently held at Rotherham Titans' Clifton Lane ground.

Apprentice and graduate recruitment restarted for Tata Steel in South Yorkshire in 2010 following large scale restructuring in 2009. Over 2,000 people are employed by the Indian-owned company in South Yorkshire where sites like Stocksbridge and Aldwarke in Rotherham, focus on exceptional high-value products and sectors.

Over 60 apprentices are receiving their training in the engineering side - mechanical, electrical and technical - or in the administration or commercial side of the business. The scheme also takes on apprentices from other local firms in the Tata supply chain who work in markets ranging from automotive to aerospace, civil engineering to component manufacturing, energy industries to consumer goods.

This year's recruitment of the apprentices was again over subscribed with around 500 applying to get in. It is not surprising given the commitment and willingness to apprentices shown by Tata Steel that saw the apprentice training scheme in South Yorkshire highly commended in the National Apprenticeship Awards for the second year running and ensures that Speciality Steels is set to remain in the UK top 100 apprentice employers list to be published in November.

The commitment and willingness to apprentices stems from the same realisation that many engineering firms face when they discover that 70% of the production workforce is over the age of 45.

A state-of-the-art engineering training centre at its Stocksbridge site was extended in 2012. Converted from a disused workshop, the centre enables the company to train in-house and equip the apprentices with the specialist skills essential to meet the current and future needs of this industry.
The Earl met a range of apprentices including Callum Strutt, a new starter who despite admitting that he would "never follow in their footsteps" is at the start of a journey at the company taken by both his father and grandfather.

Before touring the remelting area, Prince Edward also received a company presentation from Rejoice Chikosi, Thomas Matthews and Rush Garfitt, who are going through, or have recently completed, their three year apprenticeship and appear to be on their way to being fast-tracked to top positions at Tata Steel.

Mick Hood, HR director Specialty Steels at Tata Steel, said: "We were delighted to welcome the Earl of Wessex to our Stocksbridge site.

"He was very interested to meet our apprentices and to hear from them about the important role they play in creating a world-beating steel company.

"We are very proud of our apprentices, the contribution they make to our future and the commitment they show to Tata Steel."

Tata Steel website

Images: Tata Steel

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