A former South West Durham Training apprentice gave 16 engineering students who hope to follow in his footsteps a tour of 3M’s Newton Aycliffe plant.
John Bayne, Plant Engineering Group Leader at 3M, showed the group of full-time electrical mechanical students, who all hope to secure engineering apprenticeships at the end of their course, various processes and systems and explained how deadlines are met.
The visit was arranged by South West Durham Training and 3M to mark National Apprenticeship Week. 3M, which employs 400 people in Newton Aycliffe, manufactures reusable and disposable respirators and car care products including finishing compounds and polishes.
It has a long-standing relationship with SWDT, and currently has seven apprentices in maintenance engineering, mechanical and electrical with the training provider, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last December.
John Bayne said: “For several decades South West Durham Training has been assisting 3M with not only apprenticeship training but also manual handling, abrasive wheels training, slinging and lifting, maintainer assessment, apprentice recruitment, 17th Edition and various types of fault finding and pneumatics training.” John said the visit went very well: “They were a very well-mannered group, asking plenty of questions about the type of products and the various types of machinery used, also questions in general about 3M, its apprenticeship scheme and any upcoming opportunities.”
Speaking about his own apprenticeship at SWDT, John added: “It gave me a broad experience of engineering skills including welding, fabricating, basic hand tool skills, use of lathes, millers and drilling machines, and then on to specialising in electrical maintenance.
“My advice to young people looking at taking an engineering apprenticeship would be to have a curious mind, don’t be afraid to ask questions and relish every challenge that comes your way. Also, try to experience as many engineering disciplines as possible before concentrating on one or two particular areas.”
3M have a regular intake of apprentices, which are advertised on the SWDT website and the Government’s ‘Find an apprenticeship’ website. Jason Howe, Head of South West Durham Training, said: “We are very grateful to John and his team for hosting the tour of 3M’s plant by our full-time electrical mechanical students. SWDT enjoys an excellent relationship with 3M going back decades and I know the visit made our students even more determined to secure an engineering apprenticeship at the end of their course.”
South West Durham Training is part of the Bishop Auckland College Group.