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Skilling up to secure the future of remanufacturing - 08.03.2022

Recruiting and training future engineers is a fundamental part of securing the long-term future of any manufacturing business, as Ivor Searle explains.IVS_Apprentices_Group.jpg

Whilst the current level of strong demand for remanufactured major units is encouraging, it also places the spotlight on the challenge of recruiting the skilled engineering technicians needed to meet this demand both now and in the future.  With this in mind, leading engine remanufacturer, Ivor Searle, which also provides gearboxes and turbochargers, has taken on more apprentices at its Cambridgeshire factory.
Ivor Searle’s latest group of apprentices joins six other young people in the company who are on their second or third year of their vocational training.  The new recruits, studying towards a Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Foundation), attend Cambridge Regional College one day per week as part of their three-year course.
Apprenticeships have been at the centre of Ivor Searle’s business continuity planning for a number of years.  The 76-year old remanufacturer aims to recruit at least three apprentices every year, so that they can learn the processes and engineering disciplines in each department, from stripping engines to final assembly and even product development.
Commenting on the company’s latest investment in developing future engineers, David Eszenyi, Commercial Director at Ivor Searle, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome three new apprentices to Ivor Searle this year, who will have the opportunity to build a long-term career in an engineering environment.  Ivor Searle has always been an advocate of apprenticeships, which enable trainees to earn while they learn. It’s the ideal platform to develop hands-on skills, which are in great demand by industry, as well as being part of a team.
In our experience, young people don’t always attach the prestige to forging a long-term career in the automotive industry, despite the fact that they are getting paid at the same time as developing new skills.  I started my own career as an apprentice machinist Rolls-Royce and a number of our senior staff joined Ivor Searle as apprentices.”
As a major employer in the Cambridgeshire area, Ivor Searle participates in local recruitment fairs in order to highlight the benefits of an apprenticeship and raise awareness of opportunities within automotive engineering. The company also attends the annual East Cambridgeshire Careers & Skills Fair on a regular basis.
According to the IMI’s recent Automotive Education Report, apprenticeship numbers are returning to pre-pandemic levels with almost 13,000 automotive apprenticeship starts in the academic year 2021/21, representing a 67% increase on the previous year.  While this increase should be applauded, it should not detract from the need to attract young people into the industry via apprentices to ensure a trained workforce to meet demand and support the important role of engine remanufacturing in the circular economy.