As an ever-expanding organisation, UK based industrial air filtration specialist Filtermist recognises the importance of ensuring effective succession planning across all aspects of its operation. The company places great value on both up-skilling its existing workforce and employing raw recruits who can be trained on the job.
Filtermist manufactures a range of compact centrifugal oil mist filters at its Shropshire HQ and then exports them to more than 60 countries worldwide. It also offers a comprehensive aftersales service throughout the UK, underpinned by in-house back office support.
Ensuring its employees are equipped with the skills required to ensure Filtermist retains its position as a global market leader is no mean feat, as Managing Director James Stansfield explains; “As most manufacturers will tell you, there is a shortage of manufacturing skills in the UK. Something we’re keen on doing here is developing employees through the business. We’ve taken plenty of people from semi-skilled assembly work and trained them up into skilled welders and metal spinners, a type of metal working that’s an increasingly rare skill these days.”
Experience has also proved that modern apprenticeships offer another route into ensuring employees have the skills required, and this form of training is now more accessible than ever thanks to the opening of a brand-new training facility in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) boasts the very latest in engineering technologies including five Bridgeport Hardinge machine tools supplied by long-standing Filtermist customer Engineering Technology Group (ETG). All five machines have been fitted with Filtermist oil mist filters to ensure the apprentices benefit from a clean working environment.
This particular project had an added dimension as the people being protected from exposure to harmful oil mist particles include Filtermist’s two new apprentices, 20-year-old Billy Mabbott and 18-year-old James Lloyd. Billy and James began their training at the MCMT in September and will each complete an 18-month programme before moving over to Filtermist full-time in March 2019.
All MCMT apprenticeships are run by experienced training provider In-Comm Training, rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Billy is undertaking the Level 2 Mechatronics Maintenance programme, whilst James is studying for his Level 2 apprenticeship in Product Design & Development under the supervision of Filtermist’s Design and Technical Manager, Simon Baker.
Simon comments, “The equipment the apprentices have access to at the MCMT is phenomenal. Recruiting into R&D can be particularly tricky as we require a very specific set of skills; if all goes to plan, James will be more than ready to hit the ground running by the time he joins us full-time.
“This is great news for businesses, and in particular SMEs who don’t always have the time or resources to commit to training young people fresh out of school.”
On completion of his apprenticeship, Billy is destined to join Filtermist UK’s fast-growing team of mobile engineers. The team is responsible for installing and maintaining all Filtermist and Absolent extraction units sold by Filtermist UK to ensure they operate as intended at all times. It also offers routine service and responsive maintenance for all other makes and models of oil mist extraction equipment, including electrostatic filters.
“The provision of quality training on our doorstep is fantastic news for Filtermist and other local employers,” comments James Stansfield. “The vision shared by the four companies that established the MCMT, coupled with funding and support from the Marches LEP, the Marches Building Investment Scheme, European Regional Development Fund and Shropshire Council means that the local manufacturing community as a whole will benefit. We are incredibly proud to be both a supplier to, and a customer of, this fabulous facility.”
The MCMT offers a wide range of Engineering and Manufacturing apprenticeships – follow this link to find out more, or watch this short film to hear from a number of people who took part in the official opening of the MCMT earlier this month.
L-R - Ian Reece (HR and Admin manager), Simon Baker, James Lloyd, Billy Mabbott and James Stansfield.