Meet the Bodybuilders

Posted on 12/12/2014

When most people think of bodybuilders it conjures up an image of huge men sweating it out in the gym, but for Massey Truck Engineering bench pressing and power lifting is just part of a typical working day, but a shortage of skilled workers has seen the company turn to a unique Sheffield City Region-wide initiative which is helping the business to inspire and recruit the city’s next generation of engineers.

AN3 3487

Each vehicle produced by Massey is custom built to the specification of its customers and relies upon many different types of skills including welding and fabrication as well as an understanding of hydraulics. Previous recruitment drives had proved to be difficult in finding suitable candidates with the very specific skill set the company needed. To overcome the problem, it called upon Skills Made Easy to help overcome the skills shortages within the business.

The unique programme forms part of the Sheffield Local Enterprise Partnership and provides practical and impartial advice to small and medium-sized businesses helping them to develop tailored training which is used to help existing workers develop new skills, or; as in Massey’s case, recruit new apprentices.

Using a range of training providers, Skills Made Easy was able to develop a bespoke qualification which allowed each apprentice to develop the specialist skills needed in their jobs. The format has proved to be so successful that Massey has already recruited three apprentices through the Skills Made Easy Programme, and currently looking to add a fourth apprentice to its workforce:

Simon Willis, Company Secretary, Massey Truck Engineering said:

“As a company we have always tried to encourage and support young people keen to build a career in engineering. In fact, some of our senior e originally joined the business as apprentices.

“Like any form of recruitment finding suitable candidates can take a lot of time and investment, Skills Made Easy helped us to simplify this process – they helped to ensure we received suitable candidates as well as working with us to develop a hybrid apprenticeship programme, tailored specifically to suit the needs of our business.

“All the training is delivered on-site, helping our apprentices to learn as they work and perhaps most importantly of all we know that when they complete the programme they are equipped with a qualification which will help to develop in their careers. So far all three of our apprentices are progressing really well and are already making a valuable contribution to the business – so much so that we’ve started looking for another to join the company.

One of the apprentices hired by Massey was Joe White (19), who started his apprenticeship in January. Joe said:

“I decided to apply for the apprenticeship and saw it as a way of bettering myself and building a career. I was fortunate enough to be given a chance and it was a real eye opener for me – I had no idea how much work was involved in building a truck!

“I’ve found the job challenging at times but very rewarding and it’s a great feeling to see a finished vehicle leave the site, especially knowing that I’ve played a part in helping to build it.

“During my apprenticeship, I’ve been learning about Health and Safety as well as developing my engineering skills. I’ve not got much longer left on my apprenticeship and so I’m also able to help Elliot learn how to do the job. It’s hard work, challenging at times, but very rewarding.”

Elliot Bowns (19), started his apprenticeship just six weeks ago and is the company’s newest recruit:

“Ever since leaving school I’ve always wanted to work in engineering, but I found myself working behind a bar because there just wasn’t anything available. Since joining the company I’ve not looked back.

“I’d never picked up a welding tool before I came here and I’m really enjoying it. Although I’ve only been at Massey a short period of time, I feel that I’ve learned lots of new skills and I’m really enjoying working here.”

Laura Hayfield, Programme Manager at Skills Made Easy said:

“Skills Made Easy is about helping businesses to access the right help at the right time. Since the project was launched in 2013, we have helped nearly 1500 businesses to overcome skills gaps in their workforce and helped to create new, skilled jobs within the local economy.

“One the unique features about Skills Made Easy is the flexible approach when it comes to hiring an apprentice. Our work with Massey illustrates the advantages that this approach can offer businesses. It’s a win-win: Massey was able to overcome skills shortages within their workforce, whilst at the same time helping young people to take their first step on to the career ladder.”

Skills Made Easy provides a comprehensive range of training and apprenticeship advice to small and medium-sized businesses based within the Sheffield City Region. The programme is completely free of charge and can also help businesses to access government grants to cover the costs of training. To find out more about the scheme, telephone: 0114 229 6183 or email: skillsmadeeasy@sheffield.gov.uk