Stelrad has taken on five apprentices as production technicians for a two-year period, as part of its drive to provide career opportunities to local young people, while introducing new blood into the business.

Forming a partnership with local training company RNN Training, the apprentices will divide their time between work based learning on the job at Stelrad and regular skills learning at Rotherham College.

Mark Evans, operational training and competency officer at Stelrad, said: “For the first year, the apprentices will have set time periods across different departments. They start off in the office doing a few days with HR, one day with credit control and purchasing and so on, so they can see the whole Stelrad process in action, from the production of the material to distribution.”

This varied and hands-on approach has proven popular with the apprentices, with the new learners commenting that the training was a good opportunity to understand all the different aspects of the business, which will give them an insight into which area they would like to progress into after their apprenticeship has been completed.

Mr Evans explains that the idea is to educate the apprentices in “the broad spectrum of the inner workings of Stelrad, from raw material coming in to radiators being sent out at the end”.

Having been an apprentice himself, Mr Evans understands the advantages of learning on the job. He said: “Our operations director and our production manager trained as apprentices, as well as me. We all think it’s an ideal opportunity for these guys to develop themselves and their skills, and for us to invest in our local community.”

RNN Training worked closely with Stelrad to find the right candidates for the apprenticeships: “RNN Training has helped us a lot, especially in the selection process,” continued Mr Evans. “I’ve been to Rotherham College a few times now and the facilities at the Dinnington Campus are really going to help these guys develop and learn.

“It’s allowing us to form a good partnership with a local college instead of having to go further afield. It’s great for us and the apprentices that everything is on the doorstep.”

Stelrad hopes to expand its apprenticeship intake in the future, branching out into different areas as the partnership with RNN Training progresses. Mr Evans said: “Apprenticeships are the foundation stone of bigger and better things. So from this, we’re hoping to bring in an intake of four or five apprentices every year and the hope is that in three or four years’ time, it’ll be these guys who are training our other apprentices.”

Charlie Grayson, business development manager at RNN Training, concluded: “This new partnership with Stelrad is an important step in strengthening our connections with local employers and in ensuring that young people continue to learn and develop in an educational environment that suits them best. We look forward to continuing our work with Stelrad in the future.”