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Commercial vehicle body and trailer manufacturer Cartwright launches recruitment drive for 40 new apprentices to support the company’s continued expansion

The apprenticeships are targeted at 16 – 19 year olds who are being invited to apply as well as attend an open day on the 8th June 2013 when there will be an opportunity for applicants to gain a greater insight into what is on offer, take a tour of the factory as well as speak to the directors, staff and apprentices.

It is an ambitious scheme but one which will ensure that Cartwright maintains the necessary skill sets required to drive the business forward.

Initially launched last year, the apprenticeship scheme has so far been a resounding success achieving retention rates well above the industry average. The apprentices range from between 16 – 19 with some joining straight from school whilst others joined the apprenticeship scheme from college or as an alternative to university. Whatever their background the feedback from each has been extremely positive.

Together with Stockport College, Cartwright developed the bespoke two year apprenticeship programme which leads to a Level 2 Engineering apprenticeship as part of which the apprentices attend college on day release for workshop training. On successful completion of Level 2, and subject to interest and aptitude, there will be an opportunity for the apprentices to continue to Level 3 and ultimately HND level to further enhance their career prospects within the industry.

Cartwright has worked closely with Stockport College from the outset to develop the course materials which means that it is wholly relevant to Cartwright’s business and it is an approach which has paid dividends.

In their first year the apprentices will undergo six rotations within individual departments every eight weeks so they can experience each stage of the manufacturing process before selecting an area in which to specialise.

The fact that Cartwright designs and builds products from scratch is a major advantage and provides apprentices with the opportunity to learn the end to end manufacturing process within one company.

During their apprenticeship they will develop a comprehensive set of skills in welding, hydraulic, electrical and air fitting and testing, general fitting and assembly, machine operation, finishing and pre-delivery inspection. Indeed a high percentage of the apprentices providing valuable input particularly in welding and coach building which are two popular areas among the young recruits.

An additional module of 3D design is also being added providing an additional dimension to the programme and Cartwright has gifted 60 licences for its 3D Design Software to Stockport College further demonstrating Cartwright’s commitment to the scheme.

The open day will take place at the company’s Head Office in Broadheath, Altrincham on Saturday June 8th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. It will be followed by the next stage of the selection process – a three-day workshop and practical assessment at Stockport College which will comprise a mix of workshop activities, teamwork and theoretical skills.

The successful applicants will commence their apprenticeship in August with a four week block induction to cover health and safety and functional skills 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.

John Cartwright, Joint Managing Director, Cartwright commented: "At Cartwright we rely on the skills of our workforce and as a result our staff are the lifeblood of our organisation.

"We are delighted at the quality of the first year’s intake. It has been a highly successful programme with the apprentices already making a valuable contribution to the manufacturing process.

"We want to continue to nurture young people and provide them with the necessary skills to pursue a career in manufacturing."

Pictured: DPM Nick Clegg meets Cartwright apprentices on recent visit to factory.

Young people interested in this opportunity can find more information and apply on-line on the Cartwright website:
http://www.cartwright-group.co.uk/apprenticeships

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