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Cartwright kicks off 2016 apprenticeship drive

Cartwright kicks off 2016 apprenticeship drive
Cartwright First Year Apprentices Mateen Shah and Michael Collins

Body and trailer manufacturer Cartwright has launched its latest recruitment drive for up to 25 new apprentices to support the company’s continued expansion.

The apprenticeships are targeted at 16 – 19 year olds who are being invited to apply and join the existing team of apprentices already on site.

Cartwright’s award-winning apprenticeship programme is one of the most advanced in the industry and is tailored specifically to Cartwright’s requirements. It is designed to encourage school and college leavers to develop a range of skills, work in a team to pave the way for a career in engineering.

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

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 the programme the apprentices 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.

Commencing with just a one week block induction at the Stockport Engineering Training Association (SETA), the apprentices are quickly able to get into the workplace environment. This covers health and safety and functional skills, followed by working four days a week at Cartwright and one day a week attending SETA on day release until they pass all training and assessment standards.

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 make a contribution to the business.

It is a strategy which the young apprentices find hugely motivating.

First year apprentice Michael Collins (17) from Stockport joined Cartwright in September. He has just moved on to his second rotation but is already looking ahead to the future. He commented: “I didn’t think I would be good at the job, but I can do it. I would like to progress through the ranks and become a supervisor at the end of the apprenticeship. I would totally recommend an apprenticeship to anyone – you get paid while you learn and meet new friends. It’s great.”

Fellow apprentice Mateen Shah also 17 and from Stockport shares Michael’s enthusiasm and sees his future at Cartwright. “When I heard that Cartwright were recruiting last year I applied straight away. I have learned a lot since I joined – not just new skills but seeing how life is away from school. Everyone is really helpful and supportive.”

At the end of the rotation period, the apprentices have the opportunity to select an area in which to specialise according to skill and interest.

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.

The award-winning four year apprenticeship programme scheme leads to an NVQ Level 2 Engineering. There is also an opportunity for the apprentices to study for additional qualifications.
One of Cartwright’s 4th year apprentices, Josh Redfern is currently taking a BENG (Hons) Mechanical Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University which is a great coup for both Josh and the company and is testimony to the strength of the apprenticeship programme provided by Cartwright.

As part of the recruitment process apprentices take part in a series of assessments designed to give them a flavour of life at Cartwright.

These included workshop activities, teamwork activities and theoretical skills. They also have a tour of the factory to enable them to experience a first-hand glimpse of every stage of the manufacturing process.

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