GFSA is an engineering business that operates to the highest quality standards within some of the most demanding industries, such as Oil & Gas, Petrochemicals, Water and Nuclear. Like all specialist engineering businesses, GFSA relies upon the skills, training and commitment of its employees to maintain its reputation. Like many companies, however, GFSA has found it difficult at times to find enough suitably qualified engineers to support the growth of the business.

So, in 2015, the directors decided to invest in a long-term formal apprenticeship programme to ensure it had a consistent flow of qualified personnel. A part time training co-ordinator/manager was appointed to recruit suitable candidates, to develop an internal training structure and all training materials, and to liaise with local training providers to support our training programme.

Five apprentices were identified and recruited; each had already started an engineering course with an engineering provider. The objective was to train these individuals in the skill-sets required within the business. The apprentices were enrolled on an “Advanced Apprenticeship Programme” which consists of both practical work and theory study. GFSA also invested in a training room so that skills specific to the Company could be taught.

Three years later the five apprentices have completed their initial level three framework and are now developing their specific skill sets in the following areas:

  • Michael – fabricator/welder
  • Sam – Quality/health and safety
  • Alex – traditional machinist/CNC
  • Kurran – Design engineer/CAD
  • Tate – Mechanical Fitter/Welding

All 5 have achieved their Btec (ONC) award with Dudley college, attending one day each week.

In 2017 we employed Hope, our first Female engineering apprentice. She has had an excellent first year learning about our products and processes and her ambition is to be a design engineer. We also employed our first commercial apprentice, Jess. She has also had a good first year and is well on her way to becoming a qualified accounts/office administration employee.

Simon Goddard, MD at GFSA, is right behind the apprentices and is keen to encourage them; “We understand that apprenticeships are not a quick fix but we feel that they are essential to the future of the business. We have a thriving company and are fully committed to growing our future workforce from within by providing them with the right skills and education”.