Celebratory event held as Chatteris-based Stainless Metalcraft mark 500th apprentice being recruited

Stainless Steel Metalcraft apprentice awards held in Chatteris. PHOTO: Terry Harris.

Stainless Steel Metalcraft apprentice awards held in Chatteris. PHOTO: Terry Harris. - Credit: © Terry Harris

A Chatteris engineering company has celebrated a milestone in its apprenticeship programme programme with the 500th apprentice being recruited in its September intake.

Stainless Metalcraft hosted a special event at its factory this week, to celebrate the forthcoming milestone and final year students completing their five-year apprenticeships.

Customers, businesses and local dignitaries were among guests attending the event.

Earlier in the day, 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 a special insight day into its apprenticeship scheme.

Students had a factory tour around the advanced manufacturing and training facilities and spoke to current and former apprentices.

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They also learnt about the importance of choosing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects for a career in engineering.

Metalcraft, which celebrated the centenary of its apprenticeship programme in 2016, recruits up to ten apprentices a year and more than 50 per cent of its employees have been trained at the company.

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Martin Lawrence, commercial director at Metalcraft and ex-apprentice, said: “We are immensely proud of our track record working with local 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.”

Metalcraft, which is part of Avingtrans PLC, helped set up the Fenland Engineering Skills Centre at the Chatteris factory as part of its investment in its five year apprenticeship scheme to provide first class on-site manufacturing, commercial and operational training facilities.

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.

“British engineering makes a crucial contribution to jobs and wealth creation in the economy and we see the commercial importance of investing in the next generation of highly skilled workers here locally.”

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.

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