Engineering giant in Chatteris celebrates recruitment of 500th apprentice

Austen Adam, divisional MD for Metalcraft, left, with Neil Kirby, apprentice trainer, right, and some of the new apprentices.'''Picture by Terry Harris. THA
Austen Adam, divisional MD for Metalcraft, left, with Neil Kirby, apprentice trainer, right, and some of the new apprentices.'''Picture by Terry Harris. THA

A leading engineering company has underlined the importance of apprentices to the industry’s future with the achievement of a new milestone.

Stainless Metalcraft, of Chatteris, has just recruited its 500th apprentice as part of its latest intake of trainees.

The company, which has received national praise for its training programmes, says ensuring a continual flow of skilled workers over the years is vital to its future.

It recruits up to 10 apprentices a year and more than 50 per cent of its employees have been trained at the company.

The company, which is part of Avingtrans, hosted a celebration to announce the milestone and to mark final year students completing their five-year apprenticeships. Customers, businesses and local dignitaries were among the guests.

Pupils from Burrowmoor and Kingsfield primary schools and Year 7/8 students from Neale-Wade Academy and Cromwell Community College visited Metalcraft as part of an insight day into its apprenticeship scheme.

Martin Lawrence, commercial director at Metalcraft and ex-apprentice, said: “We are immensely proud of our track record working with schools and colleges to promote the exciting career path an engineering apprenticeship can offer. It’s important to inspire students to think about a career in engineering before they make their GCSE choices.”

Austen Adams, former apprentice and managing director of Avingtrans’ process solutions and rotating equipment division, said: “The 500th milestone is an impressive one in the company’s apprenticeship programme.

“Attracting new talent and investing in skills training to create the engineers of tomorrow is vital for our success.”

Metalcraft is involved in a number of initiatives with local schools including bridge building days in conjunctions with the University of Cambridge, and provides work experience placements, CV workshops, job interview practice and ‘Dragons’ Den’ events.

It has received national recognition for its investment in skills and training programmes, including the SEMTA 2018 Engineering Awards, and has been named in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers for the last two consecutive years.