Investing in new machinery for our engineering apprentices

Article summary: We’re pleased to announce that we’ve recently completed an investment in refurbishing our Engineering Centre machine workshop. The new facilities will ensure that our apprentices have access to the latest equipment to support the training employers need to build essential engineering skills in their businesses.

The update commenced mid October when the old lathes were removed from site. The following week saw the remaining equipment being moved to one end of the workshop so that the floor could be stripped and prepared. 

The first half of the floor was then painted, with the equipment that was to remain being put back into place. Week three saw the second half of the floor being painted and once complete, the 8 new Ajax lathes were installed, ready for use.

We have invested heavily in improving our facilities over the past five years. In 2018, we invested £18K on a new hydraulic guillotine, which enables us to efficiently cut metal sheets up to a thickness of 6.5mm. We use this to create metal items that the apprentices can use to practise their welding skills, and as this can be done prior to lessons, teaching time can be optimised.

More recently, we invested a further £18K in our welding area and we now have 10 welding bays each fitted with new Fronius TransSteel multi process MIG welding packages. In addition to this, we have built new welding tables which are on casters so that a lecturer can stand on one side and conduct a demonstration, enabling the student to watch or demonstrate their own skills to the lecturer. This has greatly enhanced educational ability in this practical area. 

This year has also seen our training rooms being refurbished as well as the apprentice rest area, which underwent significant improvements, completed in the spring.

We plan to continue investing in our engineering facilities significantly over the coming months and years. Our next move will be to  install touch screens at the front of each classroom to enhance education delivery, upgrade the toilet facilities and provide a new tool store and tool boxes.  

By continuing to invest in upgrading our equipment in this way, we’re ensuring our apprentices will benefit from learning and working with the latest tools throughout their training, which will instil confidence in them that will continue on into their future careers.

The new machine workshop is now open to learners and we look forward to seeing them reap the rewards of being able to practise their skills on the latest equipment, which accurately mirrors current industry working environments.

Engineering Training Manager Sandra Broad said: “The team has really pulled together to get this refurbishment turned around and ready for use in just a few short weeks. The new machine room is looking fantastic and will provide the ideal learning space for our engineering apprentices to get to grips with a range of practical skills.”

As a registered charity, we reinvest our profits into infrastructural upgrades that help us deliver the most modern training possible to the next generation of engineers and manufacturing professionals. This allows us to maintain our commitment to being a leading engineering apprenticeship training provider.

PETA offers a wide range of engineering apprenticeship options including CNC Machining, Welding, Maintenance and Electrical. We work closely with employers to deliver the right programme to support your business and develop the skills specific to your needs.

If you’re considering recruiting an engineering apprentice, please get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable apprenticeship team who will talk you through the process from start to finish.


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