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Calderdale Mesh Manufacturer Invests in Apprenticeships After Major Investment

Welded mesh manufacturer Siddall & Hilton Products Ltd is recruiting fresh talent, after a £2 million investment in machinery.

The welded steel wire mesh firm recently announced the purchase of a fifth welding machine, which will initially improve process efficiencies and lead to increased production capacity. It is now looking to expand its workforce with the recruitment of new manufacturing apprentices.

The company has already recruited four new Mesh Operative apprentices through Rise, the employer service at Calderdale College, with plans to employ at least three more later this year.

Yvette Whitwam, HR Advisor at Siddall & Hilton Products, said: “Our manufacturing machinery is very specialised, and it takes approximately a year to train an employee to become fully competent on each machine, regardless of their previous experience.”

“When recruiting for these roles, we always search for individuals looking for development opportunities and who want to progress their career with us. These programmes are not just fixed-term contracts, the apprentices are very much part of our future.”

To ensure the best possible working experience, the company has invested in upskilling some of their current employees into Apprenticeship Trainers, to support the apprentices throughout their programmes as they learn and practice with real work scenarios using the bespoke machinery.

The apprenticeships will be delivered in collaboration with the Rise team at Calderdale College. Yvette comments on the partnership so far: “The Rise team has provided us with a huge amount of support and helped us produce our internal training plans, by listening to us and tailoring these to the needs of our manufacturing operation.”

“We feel very positive about this partnership and what it can bring in the future. We look forward to developing our apprentices, under regular tuition from their College tutors.”

Claire Williams, Head of Employer Engagement at Rise, added: “It’s great to see such a commitment from a business towards providing the best working and learning environment for their apprentices. We’ve worked collaboratively to create a bespoke apprenticeships plan which would fit in with the needs and future plans of their organisation.”

“Siddall & Hilton Products are the perfect example of what needs to be put in place for an apprenticeship programme to be beneficial to both the business and the apprentice and we look forward to many more years of working with them.”