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Secos success with its 4-year technician apprenticeship programme
Secos success with its 4-year technician apprenticeship programme
Secos success with its 4-year technician apprenticeship programme

Secos success with its 4-year technician apprenticeship programme

Added to MTDCNC by MTDCNC on 24 October 2013

Almost two-thirds (65%) of UK CEOs have said that a lack of skills is hampering the growth prospects of their organisations, according to a report published by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The findings have led to a call for the Government to prioritise initiatives that help to build a strong workforce, with the emphasis being on the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills.

But with skills shortages causing problems now, many companies simply cannot hang about waiting for Central Government to intervene, and have taken matters into their own hands.

Seco is one of these companies.

Seco Tools is a company committed to training and through its popular STEP Programme - runs a series of in-depth and practical training seminars covering a wide range of manufacturing issues. (The company is currently running a series of seminars covering the machining of titanium, stainless steels, nickel and composites this year aimed at UK and Irish manufacturers).

As well as providing training for customers and prospects, Seco also invests in training for its own people and, to combat potential skills shortages in the future, operates a successful 4-year Technician Apprenticeship Programme for young people.

The Apprenticeship Programme is a collaborative venture and is co-ordinated by Seco’s Sales and Marketing Manager Mike Fleming in conjunction with various Seco staff (acting as either mentors or trainers), local FE Colleges and Midland Group Training Services (MGTS).

Mike Fleming explains:

'Our Apprenticeship Programme has been designed to meet SEMTA (Sector Engineering Manufacturing Technologies Authority) guidelines and specifications for training young people.

'It’s tough but rewarding, and the Programme ensures that Apprentices develop the requisite skills and aptitudes and achieve the qualifications required to take-up their pre-determined full time positions in the company once they have completed their 4 years.

'Although the Apprenticeships we offer are technical in nature – apprentices are given a good grounding in all Seco’s business functions and will spend time understanding and learning our IT systems, our sales and marketing processes and our logistics operations etc.

'However, the main focus of the Programme is technical and, as a consequence, apprentices will undertake intense periods of training in our state-of-the-art Custom Tool facility and Technology Centre - both of which are equipped with advanced CNC machine tools and where the latest CAD/CAM packages and programs are used.

'Everything from manual and CNC milling, turning and grinding to fitting, assembly and finishing processes...and from CAD/CAM through to inspection are covered.

'As well as acquiring these practical and vocational skills that they (and we need) for the future, apprentices will also study (off-the-job) for a National or Higher National Certificate in Engineering and will complete a full NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) and NVQ Level 3 in Technical Services.'

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