Star Micronics GB, suppliers of sliding head lathes are leading the way in nurturing a new breed of precision engineering talent in the UK. The company, based in Derbyshire, have recently added to their team with three new recruits, all under the age of 25, who represent the next generation of industry experts. The experience that they will gain from Star’s development programme will give them the recognition they deserve in the engineering industry.
Precision engineering is undergoing a resurgence of sorts. The UK is home to many key innovators in Formula 1 and Aerospace, and with the importance of high production quality overtaking sheer output quantity in the eyes of industries such as microsurgery, many companies are bringing their manufacturing back to British shores.
Unfortunately, as so much work has been sent overseas for the last 10-15 years, a skill void has opened up among UK workers. When UK industry began to struggle in the 1980s, machine operation was among the first tasks to be outsourced to India and China, meaning that a whole generation has missed out on the training they would require to develop skills in this area.
Many companies in the sector are beginning to bring in younger starters in an attempt to bridge the generation gap and give bright young talent the best possible start. Star GB are now mirroring their clients by investing in the future.
Star’s newest recruit is Lewis Nicholson, who will be undergoing a course of structured training. 23-year-old Lewis, formerly of AMRC, has joined the company as an application support engineer. His time as a development engineer at AMRC’s knowledge transfer centre saw him working on precision projects with the likes of Boeing – experience which will expand Star’s knowledge base, benefitting the entire company.
Another individual is 24-year old Chris McDonough, who has joined the company as a service engineer. Chris served his initial apprenticeship with a renowned machine tool builder.
Star GB believe that the best way forward is for eager and talented new engineers to remind the country that manufacturing is an industry with plenty to offer to GDP and the collective wealth of the country. The recent influx of young blood has also had an unexpected side effect – it’s brought the average age at Star GB down to 40!
One major partner in Star’s effort to encourage young talent is Dundee-based precision engineers GA Engineering, who make exclusive use of Star machines in their Sliding Head Division. Having acquired Bonspiel Engineering in April 2010, GA Engineering have undergone a complete business restructure. The company have committed to creating 60 new apprenticeship positions within the group, and are working closely with Star in providing training of the highest standard.
GA Managing Director Gordon Deuchars commented on the dynamic between the companies:
“With the support of Star, we are in the process of implementing a training programme to be set up within the next few weeks. GA have a fantastic working relationship with Star and we are grateful for the technical and product support we receive from them.”