There’s Still Time to Apply for Higher Apprenticeships at Bri-Stor Group

With 7 vacancies for Higher Apprenticeship roles across Bri-Stor Group, the scheme is the perfect opportunity to kickstart your career in a variety of roles.

Based in Hixon, Staffordshire, the Bri-Stor Group is looking for ambitious people who want to kickstart their career with a Higher Apprenticeship, with roles available across its four companies; Bri-Stor Systems, Alpha Manufacturing, Atlas Coating and Hex Signs and Graphics.

With an established and ever-growing Apprenticeship Programme, recruiting at least 13 engineering apprentices each year for the last 11 years, the Group is now looking to expand its scheme with the recruitment of a number of Higher and Level 3 and 4 Apprentices, across a variety of roles.

Group HR Manager, Karen Barnacle said: “This is an exciting time to join our business. After experiencing significant growth across all Group companies, we are looking for ambitious and driven people to support all areas of our dynamic business, while gaining recognised qualifications.

“This year’s intake marks the official launch of our Higher Apprenticeship programme. Having achieved such success previously with our Level 3 Engineering Apprentices, we believe this will be just as effective in producing the dynamic team members we need to take our business forward.”

The Mechanical and Electrical Engineering roles will take place in collaboration with Derby University, allowing successful applicants to work towards a degree while gaining hands-on experience, while also benefiting from their course being fully funded by the Bri-Stor Group.

Other roles will allow the apprentices to study towards a Level 3 or 4 qualification while gaining real-world experience in areas such as; purchasing and signage/graphics. With an already 500 strong work-force across the Bri-Stor Group, the Higher Apprentices will be supported by experienced and expert teams during their training and education.

Bri-Stor Group Apprenticeship Manager, William Davies-Hill added: “We are proud to have supported over 100 young students through our established Apprenticeship Programme and are now looking to strengthen our programme with the recruitment of 7 Higher Apprentices. Over the past decade, not only have all of our previous apprentices achieved exceptional pass rates, but all have continued onto full time positions within the company, contributing to the future success of the Group.

“Our hope is that with our record of outstanding support for our apprentices, this new intake will flourish in their roles and be an asset to our company as they start on their chosen career path.”

With these exciting opportunities still up for grabs, those interested in applying for the Higher Apprenticeship positions should go to: https://bit.ly/AlphaHigherApprenticeships

For more information, please email our HR Team at personnel@bri-stor.co.uk

Alpha Welcomes New 1st Year Apprentices for Induction

Last week Alpha Manufacturing and Bri-Stor Systems welcomed our next generation of engineering apprentices on site for their induction, before they are due to start their course this September.

Apprentices AlphaThe Apprentices were met by Group Apprenticeship Manager, William Davies-Hill who talked them through their programme of study for the next three years and to receive all relevant work equipment, PPE and safety instructions. They were also taken on a tour of the Bri-Stor Group 35-acre site and state-of-the-art facilities.

Speaking about this year’s apprentice intake, William said: “I’m thrilled to have now inducted our next cohort of talented engineers to the Bri-Stor Group. This is always an exciting time for both the apprentices themselves as they take the next step in their career, but also for the company as we look forward to welcoming this new group of budding engineers into the company to start their official training with our trusted partner, the JCB Academy, and eventually on site to add their skills to our workforce.”

Having worked hard to pass the rigorous interview process, these young engineers were selected over ninety-five other potential candidates. As of September, they will begin one year of studying at JCB Academy four days a week with one day per week with their respective

Apprentice Inductioncompanies. Following this first twelve months, they will switch to four days with their companies and one at the academy for another twenty-four months.

The JCB academy have been training partners of the Bri-Stor Group for the past five years, providing the ideal setting to nurture local young engineering talent. The majority of those who have passed through the academy and onto either Alpha or Bri-Stor are now employed full time and making important contributions to their businesses.

Other apprentices have gone on to further education alongside their employment, such as Production Engineer Gemma Smith, who completed her degree in advanced engineering at Derby University, and Corey Hammond, who has made the leap from qualified engineer after the completion of apprenticeship, to Technical Sales Engineer, and is now pursuing a degree in Business and Management from the Open University.

This year, we will also be welcoming our first intake of Higher Apprentices, as we expand our Apprenticeship Programme to support more areas of the business such as Purchasing, Graphics and Marketing.

As well as a robust schedule of training, featuring a rotation programme allowing the apprentices to spend time in each area of the production process, the Apprentices will also have other activities to look forward to, such as designing and building soap box carts, reviewing areas of the business and analysing lean Manufacturing processes and a trip to Wales, where they will partake in team building activities. Some of the biggest challenges the apprentices will face are personal ones as they develop from school leavers into young men and women of the working world, but with our tried and tested programme in place, they will be supported every step of the way.

An Apprenticeship is the perfect opportunity to accelerate your career and earn a living

“After my GCSEs I was pretty set on sixth form to be honest, but I felt like I was getting swept along with other students, rather than what I wanted to do”, explains third year Alpha Manufacturing Apprentice, Dan Gill.  “All my mates were choosing A ‘Levels and I really wanted to get away from the classroom and start earning a living.  The opportunity to get paid to learn really appealed to me so joining an Apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option.”

After finishing his GSCSEs Dan visited a few firms to look at their Apprenticeship Scheme and weighed up all his options, as he explains: “I looked at a few Schemes and immediately dismissed any Scheme that was too classroom-based.  I wanted a Scheme that would feel like hands-on work, accepting that I’d also have a lot to learn.  When I visited Alpha, I was completely overwhelmed by the world-class machinery and automation of the entire manufacturing process.  My dad’s an engineer and I’ve always been fascinated by anything with moving parts – even watches fascinate me, so Alpha completely bowled me over.  Another factor that swayed me was meeting our Apprenticeship Manager, Will Davies-Hill, he’s nothing like a teacher but is a really strong mentor and I felt immediately that Alpha was exactly what I was looking for.”

Now in his third year and reflecting on year one and two of the Apprenticeship Scheme, Dan is keen to tell other students considering an Apprenticeship that the Bri-Stor Group approach is way beyond the ‘school’ approach, as he continues: “I looked at the prospectus for Bri-Stor Group and I had many questions about year one at The JCB Academy, to be honest I still had some reservations on day one, but all those were set aside after the first few hours! The teaching is so engaging and it’s so hands-on, it feels like the best DT lesson you’ve ever had, and then you come back into the business and apply all that learning to the real-world, it’s so rewarding.”

Dan is an exemplary Apprentice and has shown grit and determination to succeed from the get-go, with a promising career in Alpha Manufacturing ahead of him, Dan is keen to continue with his education and balance a career, he says: “I love the maintenance rotation and the quality department is pretty cool, I’m learning all the time and because we’re getting such a well-rounded introduction to Alpha Manufacturing it’ll make it much easier to choose my eventual career path.”

Would you recommend the Alpha Manufacturing Apprenticeship Scheme?  “If you’re not a fan of the classroom this is the perfect opportunity to really accelerate your career and earn a living at the same time.  I made the perfect choice by coming to Alpha and I know I’ve got a bright future ahead.”

UCAS move to support apprenticeships directly targets apprenticeship stigma

“The news published today by UCAS that it will make it even easier for students to apply for apprenticeships is music to my ears”, remarks Karen Barnacle, Group HR Manager at Bri-Stor Group.  This announcement comes on the back of the news that about half of sixth formers are considering an apprenticeship as well as university.

Karen continues: “this is the first year we have formally launched our Higher Apprenticeship scheme and we will be taking on 11 students across a range of disciplines.  We have been overwhelmed by applicants, which demonstrates the appetite for high-quality vocational training.  We have been running an apprenticeship scheme for 11 years and each year we recruit around 15 students who embark on an exciting and dynamic career within our Group.  There is no question that attitudes towards apprenticeships are changing in a positive way and the more we can do to demonstrate the real value of an apprenticeship is incredibly valuable.”

A lack of information regarding apprenticeships is one of the biggest challenges facing students considering their options and the report published by UCAS cites ‘misplaced snobbery’ as one of the main deterrents for students.  Karen continues: “We have seen a big shift in attitudes from students and their families in the last few years, in the early days of our scheme we had very few applicants and each year the numbers increase.  All year round we receive interest from students trying to get ahead of the game and we welcome this tenacity.  We always invite parents to come and visit us too, making these huge choices about future career and education is likely to be the biggest decision a student has ever made – and we support them through that process.

“Our success story in the delivery of a fully accredited Apprenticeship Scheme is down to the relationship we have with local schools and colleges.  Many of the barriers to apprenticeships cited in the report is down to a lack of communication between employers and educational bodies, but this is an easy fix and we welcome the opportunity of sharing our best practice with others.  There’s no question, skills development is an absolutely critical priority for our local and national economic prosperity and we will continue to put our Apprenticeship Scheme at the very top of our business agenda.”

I take every opportunity to nurture our Apprentices – this is my opportunity to give back

When Paul Clews started his career at 16 as an Apprentice Engineer little did he know that by 43 he’d be the Managing Director of two of the region’s most dynamic engineering businesses – Alpha Manufacturing and Atlas Coatings.  With a career very much grounded ‘on the tools’, Paul’s hard graft and determination has earned him immense respect from colleagues across the Bri-Stor Group.

This is Paul’s story.  A bright lad with big ambitions, Paul had a passion for mechanics and design engineering. Completing his GCSEs, he had every option open to him to advance his education but struggled to see how A Levels and a degree would suit him. Paul shares his thoughts on his early career choices and how it has influenced his career today: “Right the way up to the completion of my GCSEs I thought I’d take the A Level and Uni route – I was pretty committed to an engineering degree, but something didn’t feel right.  It was through talking to a neighbour that I heard about an Apprenticeship Scheme at Belle Engineering and the penny dropped – the opportunity to earn money and gain engineering skills sounded like the perfect combination.”

Gaining an Apprenticeship at Belle Engineering with just two places available and 30 applicants was gruelling and Paul, tenacious even back then, gave it his all to secure a valuable place, Paul continues: “I worked hard to get onto the Apprenticeship, and this really spurred me on, I thought if I can be successful doing this, what else can I achieve?  The next four years were hard graft splitting my time between work and studying for my BTEC National Diploma in Engineering, but everything started to click.  Learning while working gives you such a solid grounding and I embraced every opportunity to learn all the shopfloor skills.

“In year three and four of my Apprenticeship I moved into office functions which really whet my appetite for all things design, it was in these two years that I really decided that I wanted to focus on becoming a Design Engineer. By year four, I’d achieved my HND in Engineering and if I’m being brutally honest the only poor choice I’ve made in my education and career was not grasping the opportunity to complete my full engineering degree. I think by that time I was really ready just to focus on work.”

For the next 10 years Paul progressed rapidly through his career from Tooling Design Engineer to Production Manager in just a few years.  It’s in his role as Production Manager that Paul cites the implementation of Lean Manufacturing principles as a career highlight – an accomplishment that is considered world-class amongst the manufacturing community. In 2010, Paul makes his move to Alpha Manufacturing as Production Manager and it’s here his career advances even further. Paul continues: “I’ve got so much respect for Belle Engineering; at the time I was there I was given every opportunity to further my career and that’s what drew me to the Bri-Stor Group and the role at Alpha Manufacturing. The opportunity to grow and achieve your full potential is a value that really stands out in this business.”

Today, Paul retains the same strength of character that spurred him on in his early career days as a 16-year-old Apprentice, and while he carries the huge responsibility of leading a team of over 200 people, he remains committed to the professional development of the people around him, he concludes: “Everybody deserves a chance to succeed and achieve their ambitions if they’re prepared to put the hard work in. I look back on my own career and I’m thankful to all the people that took the time out of their own day to show me the way. Now, almost 30 years on, I take every opportunity to nurture the Apprentices in this business, this really is my opportunity to give back.”

The tutors really respect us as working guys – not pupils

Nearing the completion of his NVQ in Mechanical Engineering at college, Stephan was weighing up options when he met Bri-Stor Group Apprenticeship Manager Will Davies-Hill, as he tells us: “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after completion of my NVQ but when Will visited my college and told us about the opportunities at Bri-Stor Group as an Apprentice I was really intrigued.”

Stephan took part in the Bri-Stor Group Open Day and was struck by the scale and professionalism of the business.  Immediately drawn to the manufacturing capabilities of Alpha, Stephan applied to join as an Apprentice in 2019.  Stephan tells us more: “We got the opportunity to see all the manufacturing equipment in action and I was really impressed by the Stopa and in particular the Bend Cell – seeing the huge levels of automation really changed my perception of sheet metal fabrication.  I think in my mind I was picturing a dirty workshop with a few bits of kit but Alpha couldn’t be further away from that perception – it’s a world-class business and as a consequence we’re involved in the manufacture and production of some pretty impressive fabricated products.”

Stephan really enjoyed year one and although there is a lot of classroom time at The JCB Academy, the relaxed, informal approach to teaching was perfect for Stephan’s learning style, as he expands: “we learnt a lot in year one but it didn’t feel like learning.  The tutors really respect the fact that we’re working guys, not kids, and that makes such a difference.”

In year two the Apprentices are part of the Rotation Programme and get the opportunity to experience every operational function in the business. “I’m enjoying some departments and process areas more than others, but that’s what this is all about – seeing what you like, and how that matches up to your skills,” explains Stephan.  “By being part of every function in the business, regardless of how much you like it, you can see the total process which is important.  Understanding the impact of one process on another dramatically improves efficiency and removes mistakes.”

Would you recommend the Alpha Manufacturing Apprenticeship Scheme?  “It’s a tough world right now and I feel secure in my role at Alpha.  I know the business is successful and being part of the Bri-Stor Group gives me huge confidence that I can pursue my career here and hopefully continue to gain higher qualifications.”

An Apprenticeship is the perfect opportunity to accelerate your career and earn a living.

“After my GCSEs I was pretty set on sixth form to be honest, but I felt like I was getting swept along with other students, rather than what I wanted to do”, explains third year Alpha Manufacturing Apprentice, Dan Gill.  “All my mates were choosing A ‘Levels and I really wanted to get away from the classroom and start earning a living.  The opportunity to get paid to learn really appealed to me so joining an Apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option.”

After finishing his GSCSEs Dan visited a few firms to look at their Apprenticeship Scheme and weighed up all his options, as he explains: “I looked at a few Schemes and immediately dismissed any Scheme that was too classroom-based.  I wanted a Scheme that would feel like hands-on work, accepting that I’d also have a lot to learn.  When I visited Alpha, I was completely overwhelmed by the world-class machinery and automation of the entire manufacturing process.  My dad’s an engineer and I’ve always been fascinated by anything with moving parts – even watches fascinate me, so Alpha completely bowled me over.  Another factor that swayed me was meeting our Apprenticeship Manager, Will Davies-Hill, he’s nothing like a teacher but is a really strong mentor and I felt immediately that Alpha was exactly what I was looking for.”

Now in his third year and reflecting on year one and two of the Apprenticeship Scheme, Dan is keen to tell other students considering an Apprenticeship that the Bri-Stor Group approach is way beyond the ‘school’ approach, as he continues: “I looked at the prospectus for Bri-Stor Group and I had many questions about year one at The JCB Academy, to be honest I still had some reservations on day one, but all those were set aside after the first few hours! The teaching is so engaging and it’s so hands-on, it feels like the best DT lesson you’ve ever had, and then you come back into the business and apply all that learning to the real-world, it’s so rewarding.”

Dan is an exemplary Apprentice and has shown grit and determination to succeed from the get-go, with a promising career in Alpha Manufacturing ahead of him, Dan is keen to continue with his education and balance a career, he says: “I love the maintenance rotation and the quality department is pretty cool, I’m learning all the time and because we’re getting such a well-rounded introduction to Alpha Manufacturing it’ll make it much easier to choose my eventual career path.”

 Would you recommend the Alpha Manufacturing Apprenticeship Scheme?  “If you’re not a fan of the classroom this is the perfect opportunity to really accelerate your career and earn a living at the same time.  I made the perfect choice by coming to Alpha and I know I’ve got a bright future ahead.”

Apprentice Kit Car Project 2020 – First Delivery of Parts Arrives

Alpha Apprentice manager Will Davies-Hill this week took delivery of something very special for his group of young engineers – an Ultima RS Supercar, in kit form.

The incredible car, manufactured by Ultima Sports will be delivered in three stages and this week saw the arrival of the frame, gear box, wiring loom and brake kit. Over the next eighteen months, third year Apprentices from Alpha Manufacturing and Bri-Stor Systems will come together to assemble the amazing machine under the guidance of Will.

Alpha Apprenticeship kit car project

In previous years Bri-Stor Group Apprentices have worked together to produce Caterham kit cars during a twelve-week team project. To date, three Caterhams have been produced by Bri-Stor Group Apprentices, with a day of driving them at Oulton park race track to look forward to once completed. This year, the bar has been raised for the young engineers with a much more complex and involved assembly required to produce the 800 horsepower, V8 Ultima RS.

Spending one day per week working on its construction, it’s expected that this build will take around 18 months to complete, as opposed to the 3 months required for a Caterham build. Once completed, it will be branded with livery from Bri-Stor Group graphics department Hex Signs and Graphics, just as the previous Caterham cars have been.

Alpha Apprentice Caterham Prjoects

Group Apprenticeship Manager Will Davies-Hill explains the value of a project like this:

“Our apprentices love this project every year, it’s quite unique. They get to be hands-on, working together on something different and exciting. It gives them a break away from their usual learning whilst still allowing them to develop team-working and engineering key skills. The pride the group have on completing a project like this is incredible and it’s always a talking point across the whole business when the finished article is unveiled.”

Due to begin in October, there is already a buzz amongst Alpha and Bri-Stor Apprentices keen to get started on the project and this first delivery of parts has further added to the excitement.

 

First Week Completed for Alpha’s New 1st Year Apprentices

Alpha’s latest intake of young engineering talent last week completed their first week as Apprentices with the company.

First year Apprentices of both Alpha Manufacturing and Bri-Stor Systems spent the beginning of the week at Bri-Stor Group training partner JCB Academy where they completed a series of team building activities, focusing on problem solving, design & build and communication skills. During their first year, the group will spend four days per week at the Academy working on engineering principles and theory, with one day per week spent with their respective companies. During the second year, this will switch, with the majority of their time spent in the work environment and only one day per week at the Academy.

Apprentice Team Building

The second part of last week for the group was spent on-site settling in to their new companies, adjusting to the new surroundings and learning processes and procedures. They were introduced to their programme of study in detail for the coming year and beyond, including team projects and events such as the annual Elan Valley trip and Soap-Box Derby event. The young engineers were keen to get stuck into life with the Bri-Stor Group and were full of questions about the business as they soaked in their new surroundings.

This year, twelve apprentices were accepted across the Bri-Stor Group from over one hundred and fifty applicants from the Staffordshire area. The Bri-Stor Group apprenticeship programme grown considerably over the past 10 years to become one of the most advanced and sought-after Engineering Apprenticeships in the Midlands, with many former Apprentices now in key positions within the business.

Applications for 2021 apprenticeships will soon be open for both Alpha and Bri-Stor, check back here for further updates and information.

Alpha’s Next Generation of Engineering Apprentices Inducted

The next intake of Alpha Manufacturing and Bri-Stor Systems Apprentices were on welcomed on site last week to be given their programme of study for the next three years and to receive all relevant work equipment, PPE and safety instructions.

Despite the current uncertain climate surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bri-Stor Group apprenticeship programme continues as usual, with the new starters joining during September. This underscores both Alpha and Bri-Stor’s long term commitment to developing young talent and investing in the future, despite the short term turbulence being experienced across all industries.

Having worked hard to pass the rigorous interview process, these 12 young engineers were selected over one hundred and fifty other potential candidates. As of September, they will begin one year of studying at JCB Academy four days a week with one day per week with their companies. Following this first twelve months, they will switch to four days with their respective companies and one at the academy for another twenty four months.

The JCB academy have been training partners of the Bri-Stor Group for the past five years, providing the ideal setting to nurture local young engineering talent. The majority of those who have passed through the academy and onto either Alpha or Bri-Stor are now employed full time and making important contributions to their businesses. Others have gone on to further education alongside their employment, supported by the company, such as Gemma Smith – Design Engineer, who recently completed her level four NVQ in advanced engineering at Derby University.

Gemma discussed her apprenticeship experience in a recent interview:

 

“I first heard about the Alpha Apprenticeship while at the JCB academy. I did my sixth form there and the Apprenticeship Manager told us about Alpha Manufacturing and that there was a job offer/ apprenticeship available. The reason I chose an Apprenticeship over University was because it seemed more practical. I’m more of a practical person anyway so the though of being able to do actual work and get training at the same time was kind of a no brainer.”

Having completed their inductions, the newest intake of apprentices have a full schedule of activities and events to look forward to as part of their studies including the annual soapbox derby, race car build project, Elan Valley team building trip and much more.

From all at Alpha Manufacturing, welcome aboard!

Bri-Stor Group Preparing to Welcome Local Students to Annual Apprenticeship Open Evening

This year’s apprenticeship open evening will be held on Thursday 13th Feb 5.30 -7.30 at the Bri-Stor Group manufacturing facilities in Hixon.

The ever-popular event offers young people interested in an engineering career the opportunity to discover what vocational options are available to them. In attendance will be current and former apprentices from both Alpha Manufacturing and Bri-Stor Systems, team managers and even company Directors to answer any questions on the night.

The evening will begin with a welcome by group apprentice manager William Davies-Hill before a full tour of Bri-Stor and Alpha facilities. This gives the young visitors and their parents the chance to see first hand the processes that take place, the machinery employed and the facilities as a whole. Following the tour, visitors are invited to attend a Q&A session where they can discuss in more depth the options available to them after school.

Many of Bri-Stor Group’s current and former apprentices visited the open evening before deciding to take an apprenticeship at either Alpha or Bri-Stor. They discuss this and much more about their experiences in the video below. Gemma Smith was one such apprentice, she discusses her reasons for choosing an apprenticeship over other options.

“The reason I chose to do an apprenticeship over University was more of the fact that it’s more practice. I’m more of a practical person anyway so the thought of being able to do actual work and get training at the same time was kind of like a no-brainer and I think it’s a no brainer for anyone who wants to work in engineering, or business or anything really.”

If you’re interested in a career in engineering, or even if you’re not sure what you’d like to do following school, simply register here and come along to our open evening at 5.30 on Thursday 13th Feb and see what a Bri-Stor Group apprenticeship has to offer!

Alpha Apprentices on the Road for 2020 Recruitment Drive

Current apprentices from Alpha Manufacturing and Bri-Stor Systems have begun the process of recruiting the next generation of young engineers to join the apprenticeship in 2020.

The 1st year apprentices will be accompanying apprenticeship manager Will Davies Hill as he visits various local schools to introduce them to the Bri-Stor Group. Presenting to year 11 students, they will discuss their experiences during their first year, covering training, projects, events and their studies so far.

This gives students who may currently be considering their post-high school options a unique insight into life at Alpha from an apprentice’s perspective. It also clearly shows the path for career progression with examples of past apprentices who now have important full-time roles within the business.

Over the next few months, Will and his young colleagues will visit as many of the local schools as possible, encouraging students to visit the annual apprentice open evening in February and to apply once applications open in the new year.

Next Generation of Bri-Stor Group Engineers Begin Their Studies

First year apprentices from both Alpha Manufacturing and Bri-Stor Systems have spent the last few weeks settling into their new surroundings as they began their studies.

The first week of the programme was spent at the JCB academy where the group completed their induction and were introduced to the subjects that they’ll be studying over the next twelve months. During this time, they will spend four days per week studying at the academy and one day with either Alpha or Bri-Stor Systems.

Their study programme will be divided into three-week modules where they will focus on a particular area of engineering. Their first three weeks was spent studying the basics of sheet metal fabrication, providing a solid foundation in understanding manufacturing and engineering processes.

Having hit the ground running, all apprentices have already achieved a level 1 qualification in Health & Safety, following internal training sessions by Bri-Stor Group Head of Health & Safety. They have also spent time learning the fundamentals of business improvement activities with their respective companies, which will eventually see them complete a week long project, implementing changes around the business.

Eight apprentices have joined the Group this year, with an equal split of four for each company.  Now in its ninth year, the programme continues to grow year on year and has so far seen a total of ninety-seven young engineers begin their careers with the Group since its inception back in 2010.

Another exciting calendar of projects and events await the first-year apprentices again this year, including the annual Stone Soapbox Derby and another kit-car build. Make sure to check back here for updates on their activities and progress.

Bri-Stor Group Future Apprentices on Site for Induction Day

The next intake of Bri-Stor Group Apprentices were on site last week to complete their induction day ahead of their official commencement of studies in September.

The young engineers spent the day familiarising themselves with the Bri-Stor and Alpha facilities and apprenticeship programme in general. Having received their PPE and work equipment, they were given a full guided tour of the site by group apprenticeship manager Will Davies-Hill.

They were also given their induction packs and a breakdown of all the upcoming events and activities that they can expect in their first year, including a week long team building trip to Elan Valley in Wales, as well as the annual Soapbox derby project and other charity events.

The group now have a few weeks to prepare for the beginning of their course, before the official start date of 2nd September.

Apprentices Take 1st Place in the Stone Soapbox Derby

Congratulations to the Bri-Stor Group first year apprentices on finishing 1st in the junior category of the recent Stone festival Soapbox Derby.

For the third consecutive year, apprentices from both Alpha Manufacturing and Bri-Stor Systems competed in the local event, having designed and built their own racers. Two teams competed in the race but for the first time, teams were mixed from the two sister companies.

On a rainy day in nearby Stone town centre, a timber pirate ship and Only Fools and Horses inspired Robin Reliant lined up at the start line. Although both finished the course in good times, it was the bright yellow Trotters Trading racer that took first place with the fastest downhill time and even managed to catch some serious air over the ramp obstacle.

Bri-Stor Group Apprentices

The Stone Festival and Soapbox Derby have become an important part of our apprenticeship first year program, with the young engineers working in teams to design, build and test their racers. With the entire Alpha and Bri-Stor manufacturing facilities at their disposal, they’re able to test their engineering skills and gain a solid understanding of various manufacturing processes.

Congratulations to both teams on their Soapbox racers and thanks to all involved in organising the Stone Festival.