Sheffield Forgemasters welcomes largest ever apprentice intake

A leading Sheffield based engineering specialist has welcomed its largest ever intake of 33 apprentices, destined to become future drivers of the business.

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd’s (SFIL) largest recruitment of trainees provides positions across the company ranging from machinists to degree students as it future-proofs the business against an ageing workforce and sources new skills-sets.

The September intake provides fully paid, four-year apprenticeships to the applicants, recruited from across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, and the process adopts all new Government approved training standards, funding and assessment plans.

Rick Frankeiss, group training manager at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “We are delighted to welcome these forward thinking individuals and look forward to helping them establish life-long careers with good salaries, plus the chance to progress to the highest levels of this business.

“This year’s apprentices intake is be fundamental to the future of this company as we plan ahead and manage succession and retirements within our operations. The company is making a huge commitment in terms of wages, training fees and mentoring time, but it is an investment for the long-term.

“Three apprentices joined earlier in the year, we have inducted 27 in September and we have a further three starting in a few months from now taking the year’s total intake to 33.

“We are adopting entirely new systems for training this tranche of recruits, in line with guidelines and structures established by the Institute for Apprenticeships in London, including more structured and detailed mentoring procedures and end-point assessment for the first time.

“Because the work we undertake at Sheffield Forgemasters is unique, we have to develop our own skills base and so appoint trainees in jobs such as pattern making, machining, foundry work, maintenance roles, welding, fitting, administration and research and development – it covers virtually all of our operations.”

Sheffield Forgemasters has been a staunch champion of apprenticeships over the last two decades.

Rick added: “This is our largest intake of apprentices and we had a high level of response with 304 applications.

“This is a challenging but rewarding process. We look for people who demonstrate a positive attitude, are keen to engage and are attentive and willing to learn, it’s not a career for those who want to check in on social media all day long!”

All of the apprenticeships were publicised on the www.sheffieldforgemasters.com website and also via the Sheffield College, which partners Forgemasters in the training of its apprentices.

Sheffield Forgemasters is a world leader in the delivery of engineering research and development projects, forging technologies, steelmaking and ultra-large steel castings and can trace its roots in Sheffield back for more than 200 years. The company employs 685 including the new intake.

One of the company’s former apprentices, Gareth Barker, has now progressed through the ranks to become director of operations and a member of Forgemasters’ executive board of directors.