By Lotte Pegler
Young apprentices in Tangmere have been showing off their engineering skills.
The group of trainees are the first to take part in Global Technologies Racing’s (GTR) apprenticeship programme, in partnership with Chichester College.
Over the course of three years, the apprentices have spent time at the college and at the GTR training centre in Marsh Lane.
“We started the course to build individuals that have a holistic understanding and knowledge of composites,” said Dom Herron, one of the teachers at the training centre. “This is so they have the tools to pursue prosperous and long careers in the engineering industry.
“They will also be eligible for the route of further education in engineering including HNDs and degrees. We also felt teaching individuals to have a well rounded understanding of what we do will benefit the company in having people who can perform in multiple roles productively.”
The goal for the programme is that after the three years, the apprentices will be ready for work, and will all be offered jobs within the GTR team.
“Over three years, the apprentices attend one day at Chichester College and one day at our training centre for their assignments.
“The remainder of the week is spent on the job learning at GTR making actual production parts for Formula One and our other industries.
“They will spend their time on the job learning in several roles that helps us make parts for the entire Formula One starting grid. This includes laminating, fitting and assembly and also design, logistics and management.”
The programme is run with the help of Chichester College. Lecturer Steve Scanlon was at the training centre last week to help out on an activity day.
He said: “We were contacted and I came out to speak to the team here and asked how we would set this up. The new apprenticeship standards came out and we decided it would really fit the bill.
“We’ve shared the parts of the qualification 50/50. I cover more of the nitty-gritty stuff. I think it’s going really well.”
Ross Fortin, 20, and Shelby McDonald, 22, are both apprentices in the group.
Ross said: “I did a couple of years at Chichester College doing engineering. I was definitely interested in continuing in the same industry.
“It’s really great. It’s really interesting, especially all the skills we’re being taught. It’s invaluable because we know we’re going to be getting something out of it. We have a great support network around us too, that’s really special.
“I was in retail management,” said Shelby, “But I’ve always been interested in engineering as a whole. A friend of mine works for GTR and they told me about it. It sounded good. I have always been more hands on.
“It’s great here, you’re always learning something new. Obviously it is more of a male-dominated industry, but it’s not really something I think about massively but I do think women shouldn’t be scared of working in the industry. This is a great place to work.”