We have taken on six new apprentices and have undertaken a recruitment drive as part of our ongoing commitment to workforce development.
In addition to the new cohort of apprentices we have brought into the company, we have recently recruited for a number of positions in manufacturing and fabrication as a direct response to an increased demand for our products.
The group of new apprentices includes two apprentice tool setters, two engineering technical support apprentices, a welding apprentice and a sales apprentice. They will be supported in their positions by our experienced staff who have a track record of mentoring apprentices and developing careers: a number of our pervious apprentices have gone on to secure full-time employment with us.
All of the apprentices are completing their qualifications through East Durham College, where they will continue to attend classes alongside their hands-on training at The Expanded Metal Company.
Rob Jinks from Middlesbrough is an Engineering Technician Support Apprentice (BTEC Level 3) and will be trained to become a technician in quality and safety. He will support the team in implementing product quality checks and ensuring that staff follow safe working practices. Rob commented: “I’m happy I’ve come to The Expanded Metal Company as I already feel like I fit in. Everyone has been so welcoming and I’m learning loads!”
Holly Appleby from Hartlepool, a Sales Apprentice (NVQ Level 2), will support the company’s sales team where she will gain experience in sales processing and business administration. Holly said: “I really like it here, I felt comfortable straight away. I’m looking forward to gaining my qualifications and getting a job at the end of it.”
Max Rowbotham, also from Hartlepool and a Tool Setter Apprentice / Lean manufacturing (BTEC Level 3), will become a tool setter in the Mill, which is the main metal expanding production area of our site. Commenting on his role, Max said: “I’m very happy to be at The Expanded Metal Company, I’ve already learned so much about the machines.”
Rob Miller, from Hartlepool, a Tool Setter Apprentice / Lean manufacturing (BTEC Level 3), has been learning how to run the Bronx – a raw material blanking line – and how to co-ordinate the goods-in role. Rob will eventually gain expertise across all of the machines in the factory and specialise in a specific area of mesh production. He adds: “I’m happy to be at The Expanded Metal Company. It’s a really promising apprenticeship and I am glad I found it.”
Sam Arnell, from Hartlepool – an Engineering Technician Support Apprentice (BTEC Level 3) – is responsible for assisting technicians in troubleshooting and maintenance of machines across the full factory from modern CNC machines to older presses. He commented: “I’m thoroughly enjoying my time in the team here. I’m progressing each week and hopefully I’ll complete my four-year apprenticeship and get a job.”
Jadyn Bates, from Hartlepool, a Fabrication and Welding Apprentice (BTEC Level 3) added: “I’m excited to be completing my apprenticeship in fabrication. With members of my family also being welders, it feels like part of my family background. I know with the support of The Expanded Metal Company I’ll really grow.”
Jadyn is training to become a MIG welder. He will develop the skills to prepare and produce products to specification as well as working with specialised components.
Philip Astley, managing director of The Expanded Metal Company, said: “As a pioneer in the manufacture of expanded mesh in the North East, and with more than 130 years’ experience, I’m excited to be welcoming the next generation of apprentices to the company.
“In the short time they have been with us, they have all shown a great enthusiasm to learn from our team and contribute to their departments within the company.
"Our apprenticeship programme has been running for a number of years and I’m delighted we can continue to provide opportunities for people in in the community to learn specialist manufacturing skills.
“The apprenticeship programme is a vital component in our workforce development strategy and is helping us to build for the future.
“It is fantastic to have Rob Miller and Rob Jinks, Jadyn, Holly, Sam and Max on board and I look forward to seeing them develop at The Expanded Metal Company.
“In addition, I am pleased that we have been able to navigate through the challenges created by the Coronavirus pandemic and are able to offer a number of full-time opportunities for people to join our manufacturing operations in Hartlepool.”
And, if you want to know more about our capabilities you can speak to the team on 01429 867 388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.