From job seekers to trained CNC machine operators in 12 weeks
A West Suffolk College 12 week training programme, that trains jobseekers to become sought after Haas Automation CNC machine operators; is about to celebrate its third cohort of students.
Currently, there is a shortage of skilled CNC operators across the industry both nationally and within the local industry. After discussions with The Thetford Partnership Action Group it became clear that Haas Automation felt certain that someone with no previous CNC experience could be trained within a 12 week period to effectively operate one of their machines.
The Group saw this as a positive challenge to see if this could be achieved. The Group consists of Thetford businesses, working collaboratively to support growth and to promote work within the area. Julia Nix OBE and Service Leader for East Anglia Department for Work and Pensions is the chair.
Julia, in partnership with West Suffolk College, Warren Services and Haas Automation, arranged to deliver a pilot program for people who were who were seeking employment to train as CNC operators and setters. The only prerequisite was an interest in engineering.
After an initial assessment day, the selected jobseekers are asked to take part in the training programme where they learn the skills of a setter operator including CNC programming and setting, tool selection, material selection, cutting speed and feed calculations, as well as health and safety. All this leads to well-paid careers within the engineering industry.
Julia Nix said ‘It has been an innovative concept that has worked to give people a strong opportunity to get themselves into a really solid career, with excellent prospects’
The third tranche of students are about to celebrate their successes, with the view of the programme continuing later this year.