A glance at any successful football or rugby team today will attest to the fact that a strong and lively academy usually implies a strong first team. All professionals need to learn their trade somewhere at sometime – and strong manufacturing companies are no exception to the rule. In recent years Boddingtons has been steadily investing in its youngsters and apprentices; knowing that skills on the shop floor need careful and tailor made training, as well as a programme of general technical knowledge. We talked to one such Boddingtons apprentice, Robbie Boorer, about his work and technical study at the company.
Robbie – welcome to the website blog. You are just about mid-way through your training with Boddingtons. How have things progressed?
In my first year at the company I learnt a variety of new skills on different machines, such as the Milling machine, Lathe, EDM machine as well as the CNC Milling station.
This past year has been very different: I have enjoyed working alongside some very experienced engineers and I have also had the opportunity to move around the company and the various departments. I also received bespoke training in the Overhead Gantry Crane, Abrasive Wheel and also the QMS ISO 9001 Internal Auditor training course.
At work I have incorporated my NVQ Level 2 Manufacturing Engineering study. This has enabled me to practice different machining techniques when manufacturing a job and thus also gain the credits to pass this section of the course.
And in recent weeks I was helped and guided by the Boddingtons team through all the steps of designing, manufacturing and producing a new injection mould tool. This project helped activate all of the skills that I had been learning to date and also made for a great sense of achievement.
All of this work experience to date has now motivated my interest in working in process engineering and/or the Boddingtons tool room.
And the educational side?
I have been on day release at the Leigh UTC in Dartford to carry out my HNC Level 4 units in Manufacturing Engineering. So far this has included units based on machining, casting and CNC machining. Moving into the second year will see us tackling much more engineering science and mathematics.
How do the two – study and practical – work together for you?
Attending college has helped massively – not only because I have learnt more about machining and the different techniques involved – but also because it has widened my knowledge about industry and about manufacturing. We are able to look into different manufacturing processes and also to work alongside other apprentices from different backgrounds and different companies.
And to sum it up?
This past year has been very different to the first and I am very grateful for how friendly and welcoming every one within the company has been towards me. There are great opportunities ahead and I hope to be of good service in the future.
Wayne Allen, Boddingtons Production Manager comments:
I am delighted that Robbie has shown a real maturity and passion in his work and is getting excellent reports back from not only his mentors at the company but from his college. In truth, people like Robbie provide a very good reason why Boddingtons continues to invest in people and in our apprenticeship scheme. We have great hopes for the next phase in his development and for his role in a bright Boddingtons future.