Leading body and trailer manufacturer Cartwright is to recruit 70 apprentices over the next two years to grow its own talent pool of skilled workers in order to support the company’s continuing expansion.
The south Manchester based manufacturer, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in manufacturing this year, has developed a two-year apprenticeship programme in partnership with Stockport College that will lead to a two-year basic apprenticeship in engineering.
Promising recruits will have the opportunity to progress for a third year on an Advanced Apprenticeship to City & Guilds level 3 and ultimately to HNC/HND engineering qualifications.
The ambitious plans come after Cartwright enjoyed its best ever year in its history in terms of volume and turnover, with a major escalation in orders leading to the company adding more than 200 workers to its 350 workforce last year.
The apprenticeships are being targeted at 16-18 year olds and recruits will benefit from the fact that Cartwright designs and builds products from scratch giving apprentices the opportunity to learn a whole manufacturing process within one company.
They will develop skills in all areas, including welding, hydraulics, electrical and air fitting and testing, general fitting and assembly, machine operation, finishing and pre-delivery inspection, before being able to specialise in a particular area that matches their skills and interests.
John Cartwright, explained: "Skilled workers are the lifeblood of our company and some of our most senior managers began their careers as engineering apprentices on the shop-floor.
"There are good career opportunities for practically-minded teenagers who want to earn a recognised national qualification while being paid a salary and learning about a business from the inside.
"By taking on more apprentices here at Cartwright we are ensuring that the highly-prized engineering skills which are necessary for our business are passed on to a new generation of workers."
Cartwright has worked closely with Stockport College to develop the two-year apprenticeship which is designed around the build process for a Cartwright commercial trailer, with a Cartwright trailer being made available to the college for recruits to work on.
The first intake of up to 40 apprentices will be selected in June and July after a rigorous assessment procedure including a three-day workshop to examine their practical skills, aptitude, attitude, communication skills and team-working ability.
They will start in August with an induction course at Stockport College, followed by up to 23 months of working four days a week at Cartwright and one day a week attending Stockport College on day release until they pass all training and assessment standards.
During their training all apprentices will be mentored on the shop-floor under a "buddy" system where they will work with a skilled tradesman, learning from his experience while developing engineering and manufacturing skills.
Each apprentice will get a broad-based experience, spending two or three months in each of the major manufacturing stages – fabrication, chassis building, body building and finishing – before completing their training in one particular area.
Those with a special talent will be offered the chance to train to a City & Guilds level 3 qualification within another year, with the prospect of attaining an HND in engineering within a further two or three years, which will open up further career prospects.
John Cartwright added: "Not everyone who starts out on this journey will go through all the stages but some of the new starters could very well take a full training and education programme to HND level, gaining design and Computer Aided Design skills as well as extensive shop-floor experience.
"We want to nurture people with the ability to succeed and drive our company forward. I am sure that our August intake will include some of our future specialists, team leaders and perhaps even managers."
Patricia Byrne, Assistant Principal, Stockport College, said: "We are delighted to be working with Cartwright and to be able to give them a bespoke apprenticeship programme that not only meets their needs but also gives fantastic opportunities to young people in difficult times.
"It’s very exciting. They will learn very practical skills in our workshops, which will give them the right experience to develop a long-term career at Cartwright, at a time when the UK is going back into recession.
"Cartwright has also gone a step further than most companies by making sure that each apprentice is teamed up with an experienced member of staff throughout their training to encourage and guide them."
Cartwright is working in partnership with Stockport College to recruit interested young people to join the two-year programme through a structured recruitment process that starts with an on-line application and includes workshops and interviews to identify the most suitable candidates. Final offers are expected to be made in early July.
Young people interested in this opportunity can find more information and apply on-line on the Cartwright website: