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!
The annual open evening gives local students interested in a career in engineering the perfect opportunity to find out what an apprenticeship has to offer.
Starting at 5.30pm on 23rd Jan, the event is always well attended and gives prospective apprentices the chance to take a guided tour of both the Bri-Stor Systems and Alpha Manufacturing facilities, followed by a Q&A with expert engineers. Previous apprentices, many of whom are now full-time employees, are also on hand to share their first-hand experiences of the Group and to answer any questions.
Will Davies-Hill, Bri-Stor Group apprenticeship manager said of the event:
“The evening gives young people a chance to see the scope of the factory and meet the management team. Whilst on the guided tour they have the chance to decide which business would best suit their goals and set them on the career path they want. Overall a good evening and a vital first step towards employment for potential new apprentices”.
If you’re interested in a career in engineering and want to find out more about how an apprenticeship works, the Bri-Stor Group open evening is the perfect event for you.
Simply complete the short form below and we’ll see you on the 23rd January.
Alpha Manufacturing apprentices Sam Weaver & Owen Jones were last week invited to Wolverhampton University for a tour of their school of engineering and UWR Motorsport facility.
With both Owen & Sam soon to start further education in the form of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering and Electrical Engineering courses respectively, the visit gave them valuable insight into a wide range of advanced manufacturing techniques.
The two young engineers where given the opportunity thanks to the ongoing relationship between the Bri-Stor Group, of which Alpha are a part and the UWR team. Over the past few years the group has supported both F3 and formula student teams with graphics supplied by Hex Signs & Graphics and various vehicle components manufactured by Alpha.
The UWR programme offers young engineers a unique opportunity to combine theoretical studies with real world, hands on engineering within a competitive environment. Competing in a range of championships including the F3 cup, Formula Student Cup, AR Morgan Challenge and British Hill-climb Championship, the UWR team relies heavily on sponsorship and support from companies such as the Bri-Stor Group.
Alpha’s commitment to developing young engineering talent through our apprenticeship programme continues to pay dividends as apprentices from the 2016 intake begin to make a real impact within the business and build solid foundations to their own careers.
As Alpha’s 2016 group of apprentices complete their official training and move into full time employment with the business, they begin their career in earnest as they start to develop individual skillsets and specialise in specific areas.
Some, for example have shown an aptitude towards programming and are set to begin RADAN training which will equip them with the skills needed to work within the office programming team. Others, such as Faisal Kahn will take on greater responsibilities within specific departments. Faisal spent time working alongside Alpha’s dedicated Robotic fold programmer on the TruBend 7000 machine and will now take on greater responsibility in this area, able to run the machine solo going forward thanks to his rapid progression.
Two members of the class of 2016 will go one step further, undertaking additional education alongside their work with Alpha to achieve extra engineering qualifications which will help them further specialise in their careers. Owen Jones will be attending Stafford College as of August this year, where he will be studying towards a level 3 NVQ in electrical engineering over 3 years. During his apprenticeship with Alpha, Owen has developed impressively, showing particular potential in electrical engineering having worked alongside Alpha’s maintenance manager for the past 6 months in tending to Alpha’s machinery and systems repairs.
“I’ve really enjoyed working on all the different machinery around the factory and learning how different things work. Once I finish my college course I want to take different courses specific to each machine so I know them inside and out. My ultimate goal is to become an Alpha maintenance manager and be responsible for keeping the factory working.”
Sam Weaver will also be undertaking further education at Derby University, where he will take a 3-year foundation degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering which will see him progress onto a masters degree in manufacturing and production. Sam has already begun to make an important contribution to Alpha’s operations by creating a 5S implementation plan which he’s delivering to all departments through a series of 1-hour training sessions. Once training is complete, Sam will be responsible for ensuring that 5S disciplines are implemented and adhered to around the factory shopfloor regularly, with the aim of improving organisation and ultimately productivity.
“The training has been really well received so far and people seem enthusiastic to improve their organisation and efficiency. I’m looking forward to seeing the work I’m doing at the moment start to take effect within the company over the next few months. Once I’ve completed all the training sessions, there’ll be a series of shutdown days where we can really start to implement the changes.”
The impressive progression of these Alpha apprentices is further vindication of the company’s commitment to training and development, with young engineers already showing the promise that they can contribute positively to the business. With the 2018 intake just recently beginning the theory portion of their apprenticeships with the JCB academy, Alpha are already anticipating another fresh influx of raw engineering talent ready to be moulded when they begin their practical training at the manufacturing facility.