OPINION: Forging a future

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It’s the kind of ‘can do’ attitude that has served this city well for hundreds of years.

Although it will be a surprise to some that it had to be done in the first place.

When Independent Forgings and Alloys of Hillsborough hired two apprentices three years ago it discovered the old forging schools and apprenticeships were a thing of the past. (See Business Weekly)

None of the approved training organisations had run a forgings apprenticeship in recent times, so IFA took a decision to establish one of its own.

With the help of the old hands on the press, the company drew up a curriculum that was followed by Chris Jackson and Tom Shaw and approved by industry-funded training body Semta.

Doubtless the pair were sent for a few long stands in the early days, but they learned the skills to create forgings used in the oil and gas industry and a host of critical applications.

And they did it without coming to harm in an environment characterised by very hot lumps of metal and giant machines designed to squash them into a usable shape (the metal not the apprentices).

It is to IFA’s credit that it safeguarded its future and that of forgings in Sheffield.