Firm hires apprentices to engineer success

Engineering companies in the county must be prepared to offer apprenticeships to youngsters if they want to ensure a good supply of recruits for the future, believes Colin Adams, managing director of Sleaford-based Great Plains.

That is why Great Plains offers placements to engineering students from universities and local secondary schools.

The latest person to benefit from the latter scheme is 16-year-old Jordan Swaby, who is Sleaford born-and-bred, and is just starting an apprenticeship while studying at Lincoln College. He will be splitting his time between working in the company’s machine shop and Sleaford Three – the new factory which is now completely operational.

Mr Adams says: “We aim to offer people the chance to build a good career, and there are plenty of people among the company’s workforce who started as apprentices.”

Jordan says it is a great opportunity to get some valuable experience, learning to work on a piece of metal and turn it into a finished component that is accurate to parts of a millimetre.

For added inspiration, the man showing him the ropes in the machining shop - precision engineer Nigel Savage - started as an apprentice at the old Simba factory some 30 years ago.

Tim Jackson, Production Manager, says: “We interview a number of candidates every year. This year Jordan’s existing qualifications and interest in engineering meant he stood out. He will get plenty of opportunities to gain experience and learn a range of skills.”