Apprentices help firm keep trucking

Joe White, left, and Elliot Bowns, of Massey Truck Engineering in Halfway, Sheffield
Joe White, left, and Elliot Bowns, of Massey Truck Engineering in Halfway, Sheffield
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A Sheffield truck builder that struggled to hire staff has bridged the skills gap by hiring three apprentices who are being trained on the job through a locally-run scheme.

Massey Truck Engineering, on Station Road, Halfway, custom builds every vehicle and relies on many skills including welding, fabrication and an understanding of hydraulics.

But recruitment drives had failed due to a shortage of skilled workers.

To overcome the problem, it called on the Skills Made Easy scheme which developed on-site training for the new recruits.

The programme, run by the Local Enterprise Partnership, used several providers to give them specialist skills. And bosses are so pleased they are looking for a fourth apprentice.

Simon Willis, Massey company secretary, said: “As a company we have always tried to encourage and support young people keen to build a career in engineering. But it can take a lot of time and investment,

“Skills Made Easy ensured we received suitable candidates and worked with us to develop a hybrid apprenticeship programme, tailored specifically to suit the needs of our business.”

Apprentice Joe White, aged 19, who started in January said: “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 others learn how to do the job.”

Laura Hayfield, programme manager at Skills Made Easy said: “Since the project was launched in 2013, we have helped nearly 1,500 businesses to overcome skills gaps in their workforce and helped to create skilled jobs. One of the unique features about Skills Made Easy is the flexible approach when it comes to hiring an apprentice.”