ABB passes out its two newest robotics apprentices
Published: 7 August 2012 - Neil Mead
ABB’s UK robotics business officially welcomed its two newest fully-qualified apprentices at a special awards ceremony held at its Milton Keynes site. George Matthews and Daniel Taylor received their certificates after each completing a four-year HNC course, which included a three-year placement with ABB working on its robot products and systems.
The certificates were jointly presented by MP for Milton Keynes North, Mark Lancaster, and Trevor Gregory, group managing director for ABB UK and regional manager North Europe. As fully-qualified apprentices, both George and Daniel have both now taken up full-time positions with ABB.
“Companies such as ABB that are investing in apprentices are not only investing in their own future, but also that of the UK,” said Trevor Gregory. “There is no reason why the UK cannot build on its reputation and carve itself a place as a world-leading hi-tech manufacturing economy. However, this is only going to be possible if we do everything we can to prepare young people with the skills and knowledge they need to become the engineers of tomorrow.
“ABB’s apprenticeship schemes give young engineers hands-on exposure to real-life technology, equipping them with the valuable skills they will need for the future.”
George and Daniel are just two of 140 apprentices being trained by ABB across its various businesses in the UK. “ABB has tripled the size of its apprenticeship programme in the last three years,” explained Gregory. “We have schemes running across our UK business portfolio, giving young engineers experience in everything from robotics through to power electronics.”
The value of ABB’s apprenticeship schemes as a path to a career is demonstrated by the experiences of its two newly qualified robotics apprentices. Having studied at Milton Keynes College, where he was the Engineering Department’s student of the year, and Bedford College, George Matthews is now working with the ABB robotics general industry team. His role entails a variety of responsibilities, including supporting ABB’s authorised system integration partners with offline programming and customer support; order handling and assisting in the fulfilment of customer orders.
A student of both Milton Keynes College and Northampton University, Daniel Taylor is now working with the ABB robotics welding projects team. During his three year apprenticeship at ABB, Daniel acquired extensive experience in robotic welding systems, working on projects for several of ABB’s top customers including Jaguar Land Rover, CAT and Lander. Daniel has proved to be highly suited to the role, which can be highly demanding, with tight deadlines and the need to be away from home for several weeks at a time.
George and Daniel will join ABB robotics’ first two apprentices who qualified in 2009 and who are both still working within the business. Two other apprentices are also currently due to start their second year of training with ABB robotics in September.
“Finding and developing promising young engineers is an important part of our strategy for growing our business in the UK,” explained Chris Withey, general manager for ABB robotics in the UK. “For this reason, we take on two new apprentices every other year, so that we always have a total of four at specific stages of training at any one time.”
In addition to its apprentice training scheme, ABB robotics also supports further educational establishments throughout the UK, supplying its robots and programming software for use in engineering courses at various colleges and universities.
“Automation has already proved its value in some of the big manufacturing success stories in the UK, particularly in the burgeoning automotive sector,” says Nigel Platt, sales and marketing manager for ABB’s UK robotics business. “By supplying our equipment for use in educational establishments throughout the UK, we are hoping that the benefits that robots can bring will be more widely embraced, particularly amongst smaller companies, which is where the real potential lies.”
For more information about ABB’s apprenticeship scheme, go to the careers page at www.abb.co.uk . Alternatively, please email email@example.com ref. ‘Apprenticeships’.