Award winning manufacturer SevenHills Fabrication has launched a new in-house apprenticeship scheme with Sheffield’s Westfield School and Rotherham College.
The Sheffield-based company, which is part of Steetley Corner Group, provides fabrication, laser cutting, bending and tube manipulation services, and will take on two apprentices to start in September after approaching the school for enthusiastic students ready to start work.
The lucky 16-year-olds will receive on the job training across all aspects of the firm, plus access to external support from Rotherham College and formal qualifications on their two year apprenticeship journey at the Holbrook Industrial Estate based firm.
Michelle Harding-Terry, director owner at Steetley Corner Group, said: “We are going back to traditional apprenticeships offering quality hands on experience and learning.
“We approached Westfield School and they were very keen to become a partner. Not all their GCSE students want to continue in formal education routes. They are intelligent people and want to work.
“Our new partnership will start with two new apprentices who will learn on the shop floor across engineering disciplines such as welding, manual handling, health and safety, laser techniques, costing and working on our range of robot machines. They will then choose a specific route to go down with their in-house apprenticeship with more training and the opportunity to take further formal qualifications via Rotherham College.
“Apprenticeships are so important in industry and there has been a shift in thought, back to seeing the value of this type of training. All of our senior people have come through the apprenticeships route.”
Westfield School Student Progression Manager Claire Daughtry said: “Receiving the initial call from Michelle at SevenHills and hearing what they could potentially offer some of our Y11 students absolutely blew me away! We have many students in Y11 that are looking for a more vocational route into their chosen career and this opportunity ticks all the boxes. Michelle and her colleagues that I have met are fantastic and seem very enthusiastic about the future working relationship between SevenHills and Westfield School – I am very excited this is just the beginning of us working together!”
Simon Hartley, Skills Consultant Team Leader at RNN Training which is the parent organisation of Rotherham College, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College, said: “The college is delighted to be working in partnership with SevenHills Fabrication. After the uncertainty that Covid has provided in the last 18 months, it is important businesses support local school and college leavers to access opportunities and apprenticeships. The local skills gap is continuing to widen and our local industry, in partnership with education, needs to tackle this head on. Offering apprenticeships, like the two SevenHills has provided, will help our region to create more skilled workers and retain our regional excellence in engineering.”
The group, which employs in excess of 70 staff, currently has six apprentices working on site and boasts many former apprentices as senior staff including Production Manager Jake Atkins and Engineer/ Fabricator/Welder/Press Brake Operator Finn Nicholson.
Tony Griffiths joined Steetley Corner Group aged 17 and is now SevenHills Production Director.
He added: “I much preferred learning on the job and really pushed for this opportunity. You learn the company values, the machines and the environment, something you don’t get from a classroom. The views on apprenticeships have changed. Previously seen as a waste of time, people are again realising manufacturing is the industry to be in, and if you are good at what you do, you will always have work.”