Apprenticeship training within the steel industry
A Sheffield Forgemasters International case study

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Page 3: The importance of training

Training is the process of acquiring knowledge and skills. It ensures that workers are better able to perform their jobs. The objectives of training include:

  • increasing productivity by introducing more effective ways of working
  • educating employees in the use of new equipment and new methods
  • making employees more adaptable by providing them with the skills to carry out a variety of tasks
  • increasing job satisfaction and producing a motivated workforce.

Sheffield Forgemasters International 17 Image 7Apprentices at SFIL benefit from both on-the-job and off-the-job training. On-the-job training takes place at SFIL’s premises. Trainees receive support and instruction as they carry out their allocated job roles. Off-the-job training takes place at a college or another learning centre.

Putting training to use

Dan spends one day a week at college studying the theory of metallurgy. During the four days of the week he is working, he puts this theory into practice. He has, for example, been trained to use ultrasonics to scan for cracks in the metals and he has now qualified to work on this unsupervised.

Kurt’s off-the-job training includes a BTEC level 3 course in manufacturing engineering at a nearby college. This training supports his role working in the furnaces calibrating the temperature of the process. Dan and Kurt’s roles are highly skilled and are vital to ensure SFIL’s high quality standards.

Rebecca, a 23-year-old business and administration apprentice, is supported by other models of training:

I undertake formal training for my NVQ and I get to apply what I learn in the workplace. My training takes place mostly on site. I receive project work set by my tutor, which I complete and have assessed by email. The tutor visits on a regular basis to carry out appraisals of my work. I’ve also been on in-house training courses for things like Microsoft Word and Excel. I have taken a “train the trainer” course to learn how to run training programmes for the company’s own instructors. So I’ve acquired lots of new skills.’

There are several qualifications that apprentices can take depending on their level of education and the job for which they are training. These range from BTEC, City and Guilds and NVQ awards all the way up to doctorate-level degrees.

Sheffield Forgemasters International | Apprenticeship training within the steel industry