robbie

‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ so the saying goes. In similar fashion it takes all facets of a company to raise a good apprentice.

The UK’s general engineering apprenticeship is – with good reason – reckoned to be indispensable for lasting success in industrial life.

And companies such as Boddingtons continue to invest in apprenticeship schemes, so as to bring on key individuals, and thereby develop the future of the company’s business.

This apprenticeship expertise is part of the reason for the Boddingtons return to the annual Plastics Industry Awards.

Boddingtons is once more this year a finalist for the Industrial Design Award – and the company also fields Robbie Boorer as shortlisted for the 2019 Apprentice of the Year.

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Some of the Boddingtons team behind Robbie – (left to right) Jay Cheema, Quality Manager, Wayne Allen, Production Manager and Robbie’s Sponsor, Jo Beach, Human Resources and PA to the CEO, Paul Bowles, Operations Director,  Jon Wood, Process Engineer, Grant Riddall, Toolmaker, Phil Collins, Toolmaker, John Brooks, Sampling Technician, Ben Mellor, Process Engineer

Boddingtons CEO Andy Tibbs says that ‘it is no exaggeration to say that the future of Boddingtons rests upon the shoulders of performers such as Robbie. From Day One it has been a delight to watch his progress, enthusiasm and growth in the job. Our business needs its people to possess a very broad set of manufacturing competences; flexible, adaptable and ready to improvise and to think creatively in order to give our customers the manufacturing solutions they need. Robbie has shown all that to us within three years. We believe that he will continue to grow into true manufacturing excellence and effective leadership.’

Robbie’s talent for engineering began at school where he had a real interest in all aspects of engineering: After school he stayed in education studying and achieving his Diploma in Engineering to a high standard.

Robbie is now in his final year of a 4-year apprenticeship scheme – undertaken in partnership with our local (Kent) Sector Skills Council for the Manufacturing and Engineering Sectors – the SEMTA apprenticeship service.

The 4-year apprenticeship scheme – as administered by SEMTA – is designed for optimum results all round – candidate, college and company sponsor.

Over the past three years Robbie has consistently scored highly in his academic work with SEMTA and in all matters relating to college attendance and participation. At Boddingtons he has rotated through all manufacturing engineering and quality assurance departments.

As part of the HNC qualification Robbie needed to undertake a project of significance in the workplace. Boddingtons backed him all the way – setting him the task of designing and manufacturing his own injection moulding tool. A budget of £6000 was set and Robbie project-managed the whole task from start to finish, using the core engineering skills that he had learnt throughout his apprenticeship. With support and enthusiasm from his peers and colleagues he went on to produce a golf green marker tool on time, well within budget, to a very high standard and featuring the Boddingtons corporate design and livery.

The skills Robbie used during this project were, planning, purchasing, product design, tool design, CNC milling, turning, wire and spark erosion, CMM measuring, injection moulding trials, report writing and – not least! – budgeting.

At the end of his project Robbie presented his activities to the senior management and his college tutors in the Boddingtons Board Room in the format of a professional PowerPoint presentation.  The golf green markers produced from this tool are now going to be used and given away at future trade shows and at company golf days.

In summary, Boddingtons believes that Robbie Boorer has an excellent future within the plastics industry and every chance of succeeding at this year’s PIA 2019 awards – Friday September 28th, London Hilton.

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