Training plan creates path for firm to forge ahead

Independent Forgings and Alloys Ltd'Forging apprentice Chris Jackson who have graduated after IFA invested in a course specifically for them
Independent Forgings and Alloys Ltd'Forging apprentice Chris Jackson who have graduated after IFA invested in a course specifically for them
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There used to be forge schools in Sheffield, but times have changed.

When Independent Forgings and Alloys wanted to train two apprentices it struggled to find an NVQ in the subject - or trainers either.

So, true to its name, the company, of Livesey Street, Hillsborough, came up with its own training plan with the help of forge operatives.

After two years of hard work Chris Jackson and Tom Shaw have completed an NVQ in metals processing - and without mishap in the potentially dangerous environment.

Both now work on the 1500 tonne press and IFA is investing in more apprentices for the future of the company - and forging in Sheffield.

HR manager Katy Edmonds said: “While there has been forging on this site for over 100 years, it has been an industry that has taken a hit recently and like most engineering companies we suffer from an ageing workforce.

“However, to combat this problem and with the enthusiasm of our forge operatives we recruited two young apprentices nearly three years ago and devised a training plan for them to learn how to forge metal safely.

“We realised we were going to have to recruit people with no experience and train them up - at least that way they would be trained in our culture.

“When I spoke to the apprentice training providers no-one could tell me they had trained a forge apprentice recently and we were not sure what NVQ to choose.

“We spent time devising a training plan for the new guys and it has taken over two years of hard work both from the apprentices and also from their mentors to help these apprentices to pass their apprenticeship programme,” he added.

“Both guys now have jobs in teams on our 1500T press and we are investing in further apprentices for the future of the company and that of forging in Sheffield.

“It took a bit of time for them to be respected.

“But they have definitely now been accepted into the teams.”