Why nurturing talent is critical for engineering excellence

Finding the people and the skills of the future in the specialist advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors has become a major challenge for the industry. Here, Chris Fleet, design manager at Airframe Designs, explains how the company has become a Platinum Partner of Blackpool & Fylde College by helping to develop its manufacturing engineering programme.

Nurturing and developing talent is at the heart of what we do at Airframe Designs and is one of the reasons I got involved in the initiative with Blackpool and Fylde College.

Indeed, where would any of us be if we had not had the benefit of theoretical and practical support in our early careers?

The demands of today’s manufacturing engineering industry are tough and finding the right people with the right skill sets is equally difficult.

To address the situation, we decided to collaborate with Blackpool & the Fylde College, dedicating time and effort to develop its current BEng (Hons) to ensure it is relevant for the apprentices and employers alike.

This has brought Airframe Designs closer to the world of learning at the grass roots level where many of our bright young engineers start out. The results have been incredible and worth every ounce of the commitment required. Indeed, the initiative has also helped us to recruit apprentices for our own design, stress and manufacturing teams with five apprentices working with us currently.

Manufacturing Engineering students on the course have access to industry-leading engineering and software simulation facilities. Degree apprentices also look at the complexities of business including safety and how to support environmental and future operational changes to benefit the industry.

Just as important, they receive direct hands-on support and experience from ourselves and other experienced engineers, and it is this interaction and engagement which has sustained the exercise to make the course an exemplar of learning and skills development for the engineering industry.

At the same time, we are already benefitting, employing two apprentices ourselves from the BTEC course and working with them on the degree course to further their skills development. We are also working on craft skills which have been vanishing from the curriculum to ensure they understand some of the more traditional engineering techniques which they will need in their careers.

Those young people who enrol on the course will learn engineering principles including manufacturing processes, management, sustainability and business improvement techniques with specific application to today’s engineering sectors.

Our combination of experience with young talent is creating an agile, dynamic workforce at Airframe Designs. We never rest on our laurels however experienced we may be, and with young talent on board we have new thinking and fresh perspectives to drive continuous improvement.

We are always on the lookout for individuals with the right experience and relevant skills, and we invite them to apply to join our team.

For more information contact Airframe Designs, tel 01253 400320 or visit the Airframe Designs website.

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