Thursday, February 9, 2012

News: Tata Steel to unveil state-of-the-art training centre


Tata Steel will open an engineering training centre at its Stocksbridge site as part of National Apprenticeship Week, demonstrating the company's commitment to investing in the long-term future of the business.

The centre, which has been converted from a disused workshop, will be used to train engineering apprentices from within the company and from other South Yorkshire businesses.

Now in its fifth year, National Apprenticeship Week aims to raise the profile of apprenticeships amongst employers, individuals, teachers, parents and the media. A number of events are taking place between February 6 and 10, 2012.

Investment in 2005 saw the Rotherham site at Aldwarke become the focus for steel making, casting and rolling of specialist steels. The steel is manufactured at the Rotherham site before undergoing further refining at the Stocksbridge plant or the Thrybergh Bar Mill to improve the quality.

After major restructuring in 2009 where they announced that 1,100 jobs would be lost in Rotherham, the Speciality Steels business in South Yorkshire is benefiting from a new strategy that focuses on exceptional high-value products and sectors.

The company still employs around 2,250 people in South Yorkshire, including at its technology centre in Rotherham. The recruitment of apprentices and graduates resumed in 2010 and Tata recruited 300 people early last year to support operations.

Mick Hood, HR director for Tata Steel's speciality steels business, said: "Tata Steel is committed to investing in the long-term sustainability of the business and for that we need to train the next generation of engineers with specialist electrical and mechanical skills.

"This centre will enable us to deliver a bespoke training programme, equipping the apprentices with skills they will use throughout their careers."

Until recently, Tata Steel used external providers to train its apprentices in South Yorkshire. The new centre will enable 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 first stage of the project was completed in summer 2010, after a pilot scheme concentrating on training electrical apprentices was considered a success. This prompted the company to expand the project to include training for mechanical apprentices and other companies that also required the same specialist skills.

In 2011 work started on converting the building in order to accommodate the training resources and equipment necessary to support the expected demand for this facility.

The centre will also be used to provide specialist training programmes for the company’s current engineering workforce. These programmes aim to improve the skills of the workforce to support the continuous developments in the UK steel industry and meet ever changing business needs.

Tata Steel Speciality

Images: Tata Steel


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