Last month SMS – Smart Made Simple, reported a significant increase in its turnover of 30 per cent, despite current challenges facing the UK electronics manufacturing industry. The company has reported however, that whilst they are delighted with their financial performance, they have exciting plans to continue to fuel their growth.
The company’s development efforts have begun with immediate effect. During September 2017, HR manager Sarah Markowski informed us that SMS recruited four apprentices as part of the company’s initiative to invest in the next generation of technology talent, and to continue to deepen their ongoing social and community relations.
The four apprentices were officially inducted on the 29th of September, with a formal start date of the 3rd of October 2017. This enterprise is part of a long-term joint relationship between SMS and New College, Nottingham.
New College Nottingham offers manufacturing and engineering students a dedicated programme in which the student/apprentice is placed onto a day-release timetable. This schedule is made up of college attendance for one full day, with the remainder of the working week (four days) in work placement. In this instance, within SMS.
A typical orientation schedule for SMS looks like:
- Induction to SMS
- Their specific on-the-job training and how it will be delivered and assessed
- An introduction to the SMS brand and how, as an apprentice, they play a role as protector and ambassador
- A facility tour with an overview of the surface mount, testing, production, and developmental equipment
- Health and safety training
- Policies and procedure overview
The duration of the placement is one full year and although the primary focus of the apprenticeship program is designed to educate the apprentices for a career with the engineering and manufacturing environment, the students who are welcomed to SMS achieve far more. SMS believes that their apprentices benefit greatly by learning about the entire business, therefore their students are offered the unique experience of being placed within each department, from the shop floor through to the offices of logistics, procurement, supply chain and sales & marketing.
Sarah Markowski, HR manager comments: “As a business, it is important that we continue to encourage young people to enter into manufacturing. This begins by us actively supporting new talent in our efforts to attract them. We believe that great things can happen when fresh, motivated and energetic minds come together to provide us with a new perspective. We start our apprentices out at ‘grass roots’ and develop their skills in a direction that will not only drive our success, but will suit their development and progress. We strongly believe in supporting our local young people. We provide them with the opportunity to train, make a difference, and of course, earn a salary. We’ve seen our apprentices progress onto management level, not just within SMS, but within local enterprises also.”
Graham Shaw, chief operating officer adds: “At SMS we build what we call our ‘knowledge network’ and our apprentices are within an exceptional setting to learn how we apply this to our day-to-day operations. They start through our facility focus program by learning how manufacturing environments, such as SMS, operate, then they move on to see our supply chain intelligence in action, followed by how we connect our technology offering to bridge the gap that some of our Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers have in-house. These factors enable our technology customers to access the best’ built-in’ expertise in the UK, and our apprentices become a fundamental part of our expertise offering.”