Exalto’s 1st Apprentice Celebrates 1st Anniversary!
Exalto’s very first apprentice, Tyrone Smith, celebrates his first year with the Exalto team next month and recounts the changes he’s seen in the business in our busy year since becoming part of GMC.
“the biggest changes I’ve seen have to be the increased production capacity and the effect that’s had on the morale of the men” comments Tyrone, “from the manual machines I was training on literally 6 months ago, to the new CNC machines that I’m learning to programme and operate now… the difference in the speed and precision of their operation is fantastic”
Tyrone joined Exalto in August 2016, picked from a wealth of applications for Apprentice Mechanical Engineer for his clear ability, good nature and obvious passion for engineering. “I just love making things” he comments, and selected Exalto over other Derby-based businesses, such as Rolls Royce and Bombardier, for its small business team and clear opportunities to learn “I didn’t want to be just a number in a big workshop, I wanted to learn a bit of everything from a small team and really get my hands dirty.
Mark, our Business Manager, explained to me his vision for the workshop and I could really see the difference the updated machinery would make to a business of this size… and it has! The CNC’s are less labour intensive, they are more interesting to work on, and require less supervision from senior staff. Even from my point of view on the shop floor, I can see the difference they’ve made already to our production times, they are so much faster!
Our regular customers will start to see further benefits soon as our CNC machines and our new Press are able to store up to 900 different programmes – when we’re making the same bearings time and time again that used to be labour intensive, it’s now a case of finding the programme and hitting ‘Go’! So lead times and our ability to react to urgent orders will naturally be effected”
Morale is also higher as job satisfaction has improved too – “they make our lives easier and are fun and interesting to work on, I’m always practicing creating programmes and trying out new techniques”
Mark Chesher comments “apprenticeships bring young talent, fresh perspectives, youthful attitude and commitment to a career and therefore work ethic. A lot of company’s make the juniors do the grunt work but they are the future of engineering in this country and need to be cultivated in the right manner if we want them to succeed and the industry to prosper”
So what’s the future for Tyrone and the apprenticeship programme at Exalto? As Mark comments “I’m delighted with Tyrone’s progress so far and thanks to his success, the apprenticeship programme will only continue and expand under me, with new talent being recruited every year. Youngsters such as Tyrone really are the future of this business – a small business like ours could easily get left behind but investment in new machinery as well as young talent through the apprenticeship programme will keep our perspectives fresh and techniques up to date with modern thinking and ideas”
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