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March

Forgemasters proves model example for apprenticeships

17 March 2011

Two of Sheffield Forgemasters’ apprentices have fronted a national manufacturing festival’s marketing campaign.

Two of Sheffield Forgemasters’ apprentices have fronted a national manufacturing festival’s marketing campaign.

Apprentice maintenance electrician Hannah Berry and apprentice machinist Sam Abbotts, who both work at Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd’s Brightside Lane base, modelled for posters designed to promote the Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield to delegates and visitors from home and abroad.

The duo has also encouraged more young people to follow in their footsteps and take up the opportunity of an apprenticeship.

Hannah said: “I originally didn’t even consider being an electrician as it is a male-dominated environment. Now I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have proved myself worthy and I am accepted as one of the team.

“Sheffield Forgemasters has a brilliant reputation for apprentices and I was lucky to get my apprenticeship. I received lots of support throughout. Forgemasters will do its best to help you to get to where you want to be. It’s very hands on and you learn so much,” she added.

Forgemasters is currently training 64 apprentices from a total of 811 employees for roles in all departments across the company – just under 8 per cent of the workforce.

In 2010 more than 250 applicants applied for 30 vacancies challenging national statistics that apprenticeships are not sought after by young people.

The recruitment and training of apprentices at Forgemasters has addressed serious skills challenges and allowed key skills to be put back into British industry for the future increasing the company’s knowledge base to handle increasingly complex projects. The average age of the workforce has also been lowered from 50 to 41.

SFIL chief executive Graham Honeyman said: “Our commitment to apprenticeships is evidenced by them gaining permanent positions and rewarding salaries from day one.

“Apprentices have contributed to the organisation's success for many years. They are now engaged in refining work practices and control systems to improve efficiency and productivity across the operation.”