Thursday, August 28, 2014

News: Darron SBO continues to take on passionate engineers

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Rotherham precision machining specialist, Darron SBO has found its next apprentice through a employability programme which included an eye-opening two weeks at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Training Centre.

Darron manufactures a range of high quality components which are supplied to the oil and gas industries. Part of the Schoeller-Bleckmann Group, its Canklow facility has modern machine tools and state of the art manufacturing capabilities. The downhole tools specialist also uses the state of the art facilities at the AMRC Training Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham to help develop the apprentices it requires.

15 out of work 20 to 25 year olds took part in the JobCentre Plus programme which included time in the AMRC Training Centre workshop, getting a feel for what apprenticeships and engineering are all about, in addition to improving their interview, CV writing and personal skills with the Sheffield-based, employer-led Work-Wise Foundation.

Sam Jackson (22) enjoyed his two weeks at the Training Centre so much that he decided to apply for an apprenticeship through the Centre. He said: "It was a really, really life changing opportunity and pointed me in the right direction. Two weeks at the AMRC Training Centre made my mind up. It was something I definitely wanted to do. It was brilliant."

After successfully attending one of the centre's rigorous assessment days he secured an interview with Darron SBO, where he went on to impress.

Denis Smith, head of quality control at Darron SBO, said: "We saw four or five candidates and Sam definitely stood out.

"Engineering is all about passion. All the experienced machinists we have got on site have a passion about their work and a pride in what they do.

"Sam brought examples of the work he had done at the AMRC Training Centre, explained how he had made them and was glowing with pride for what he had achieved."

Sam begins his Darron SBO sponsored AMRC apprenticeship next month and will begin working to secure a Level 2 NVQ in Performing Engineering Operations on the way to studying for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering as an Advanced Apprentice before joining Darron SBO's 80-strong shop floor workforce.

Kerry Featherstone, head of operations at the AMRC Training Centre, said: "We were delighted to be able to work with JobCentre Plus and Work-Wise to give these young people an understanding of the opportunities that are available in engineering.

"Sam's success shows that even if you left school some time ago and have been out of work for a while, you could still become an apprentice and work towards a career in the advanced manufacturing sector.

"We were able to run the two week engineering taster while our full time apprentices were taking a summer break. We hope to be able to repeat the exercise in future so that more people out of work and in their 20s can learn about the possibilities in engineering."

Darron SBO website
AMRC Training Centre

Images: AMRC

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