An apprenticeship scheme launched by Cartwright in 2012 to teach young recruits every area of the trailer manufacturing process has proven so successful the company is now rolling it out to other areas of the business.
The company is actively encouraging apprentices to fill a series of roles on the design team in the engineering office as well as to help boost the production team.
The announcement comes on the back of a string of prestigious awards over the past couple of years in recognition of Cartwright’s apprenticeship scheme.
Now in its fifth year the original aim of the scheme was to find 70 apprentices over two years, helping them to develop skills in every stage of trailer manufacturing.
In that time, Cartwright has successfully recruited well over 100 apprentices and its accolades include the prestigious Motor Transport Apprenticeship of the Year Award, as well as its listing as one of the UK’s top apprentice employers in the National Apprenticeship Awards.
Among the first intake of apprentices was Josh Redfern.
Having studied Business Studies, Sport and Public Service for A Level Josh joined the apprenticeship scheme having decided that he didn’t want to go to university.
Since that time, he has never looked back and in fact is now studying for a BSc in Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Josh, who has won several awards including Highly Commended in the prestigious EEF Awards and Apprentice of the Year in the Made in Manchester Awards, said: “Looking back the apprenticeship scheme is one of the best things I have ever done.
“On the shop floor, I became an accomplished welder, coachbuilder and fitter, meeting the high-quality standards required by the business. However, after ten months I knew I didn’t want to work on the shop floor and asked to go into the engineering office.
“I was proud to be the first Cartwright apprentice integrated into the design team and I found it immensely rewarding and very interesting. I enjoyed being a part of a close-knit team and being allowed to use my creativity and initiative to help drive Cartwright’s designs forward.
“Becoming an apprentice at Cartwright has been an incredible experience. Over the last four years, everyone has been massively supportive and enthusiastic about my development at the company and I feel very fortunate to have had this level of support.”
Mark Cartwright, Group Managing Director, said: “Josh is a perfect example of how an apprentice can go on to achieve great things within our company.
“He is one of many from our first year’s intake who have gone on to perform extremely well with Cartwright – indeed we now have several former apprentices from that year who now hold supervisory positions with us.”
Launched in 2012, the Cartwright apprenticeship programme is recognised as one of the most advanced in the industry. Tailored specifically to Cartwright’s specific requirements, it is designed to encourage school and college leavers to develop a range of both work based and social skills, work in a team and lay the necessary foundations for their future career in engineering.
During the programme, the apprentices have the opportunity to learn the whole build process and develop a comprehensive set of skills before selecting an area in which to specialise. As part of the programme, apprentices will go to college on a block release basis at the Stockport Engineering Training Association (SETA) to gain the necessary experience in workshop training to assist in achieving the required standards for the Level 2 apprenticeship.
Within the first year the apprentices undergo six rotations in individual departments every eight weeks, so they can not only experience each stage of the manufacturing process but quickly gain the necessary skills enabling them to quickly make a significant contribution to the business.
At the end of the rotation period, the apprentices have the opportunity to select an area in which to specialise according to skills and interests.
They also have the added advantage of being 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.
Mark Cartwright continued: “Apprentices play a key role in every area of Cartwright. With their help, and with the help of our older, more experienced members of staff who regularly pass on the benefits of their experience, we are working on a daily basis towards building a home-grown talent pool of skilled workers who will help us achieve our ultimate goal of securing the future of Cartwright over the long-term.”