Made It! Interns are vital cogs at gears specialist Magnomatics in Sheffield

Youngsters on work experience can spend most of their time making tea.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 11:57 am

Or it’s more exploitation than experience as firms help themselves to a free worker.

At the other end of the scale, Sheffield manufacturer Magnomatics has two 21-year-old interns who are vital cogs, with as much freedom, variety, responsibility and access to hi-tech kit as they can handle. And a wage too.

Anjali Manoj is not only designing a gear for a gas pump, she travels to the client’s office in Scotland to check it works properly in the field.

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Made in Sheffield is an exclusive club of manufacturers.

Ross Ferguson is working on an undersea drone used for maintaining oil rigs.

Both are studying mechanical design engineering at the University of Sheffield and spending a year in industry as part of a five-year course.

Magnomatics’ technology uses strong magnets to drive gears, cutting wear and maintenance. The 24-strong company on Bernard Road employs six women

Anjali said: “The best bit is how much they trust me, I’ve got a lot of responsibility. I like the course and I’m happy to work here.

In the workshop at Magnomatics on Bernard Road. Picture Scott Merrylees

“There’s definitely a lot of men but no sexism. You can’t not do a job because there’s not enough people like you. In fact, by doing it you actively change that.”

Anjali, who is from Essex, also loves Sheffield.

“It’s a mix of big city and country. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Ross, from Carlisle, is working on an electrical motor for an undersea drone.

Dave Latimer, chief executive of Magnomatics.

He started with a computer-aided design before sourcing parts and getting his hands dirty putting it together in the firm’s workshop.

He said: “I find the work really enjoyable. I like the freedom and variety and there are a lot of different tasks including finding suppliers and sometimes having parts specially made in Sheffield.“

Magnomatics holds the famous Made in Sheffield licence.

The firm has just won a £73,000 grant from the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to help solve the challenge of robotic placement of large rotor magnets on wind turbines.

University students Anjali Manoj and Ross Ferguson. Picture Scott Merrylees

Magnomatics chief executive David Latimer said: “We are delighted with the funding. Magnomatics has secured strong commercial interest in our technology for offshore wind. This project is all about developing the processes and methods to help anchor the manufacturing in Sheffield City Region and the UK.”

It will work with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on the project, which is worth a total of £104,000.

University student Anjali Manoj at Magnomatics. Picture Scott Merrylees
Ross Ferguson at Magnomatics. Picture Scott Merrylees
Made It! celebrates first jobs in manufacturing and tech.