Reece Lappin and Tom Long joined VAS on September 12th as engineering apprentices and will now embark on a four-year apprenticeship to become qualified furnace engineers.
With the skills shortage in the engineering sector growing, VAS are leading the way to recruit, train and retain a cohort of highly skilled and experienced apprentices who will progress to multi skilled field service engineers.
Working in partnership with apprenticeship provider Make UK, the intensive four-year apprenticeship combines a mix of classroom based and on the job learning. As the course progresses, learning shifts towards more on the job learning as apprentices are given more responsibility.
In year one, Reece and Tom will learn a wide range of engineering skills including software control, electrics, machining and benchwork.
Their second and subsequent years, when not at college, will include integrating within the VAS engineering departments and working at customer sites, learning all aspects of heat treatment systems.
Reece Lappin commented: “I joined VAS after beginning a degree in sports science at university. I wanted to join a business where I could learn on the job and gain a skill set that could see me progress through the business.”
Tom Long added: “I feel really privileged to be completing my apprenticeship at VAS. I was put through a rigorous interview process which not only looked at technical skills but also attitude to development and work ethic. I’m looking forward to the next four years.”
VAS Quality, Health & Safety Manager Andy Nisbet said: “The VAS business strategy for recruitment encourages 100% of recruits to join the business through an apprenticeship route. This approach to apprenticeships not only addresses the skills shortage within the engineering sector but also creates a solid talent pipeline for years to come.
“We currently have five apprentices in the business, all at various stages of their qualification. We are currently recruiting for another apprentice to join us in November and going forward, plan to recruit two per year so that we have a rolling cohort of apprentices in the business.
“Our apprenticeship programme produces talented, multi skilled furnace engineers who have a varied skill set enabling them to progress through the business. An example of this are two former apprentices who have both progressed to senior service engineers.”
A trusted partner for leading brands, VAS was launched in 2000 by two engineers to offer vacuum and atmosphere furnace services and has progressed to offer the full service package for the heat treatment industry, ranging from bespoke new furnaces to spare parts.
Employing 35 staff and providing furnace services for the likes of Mercedes, GE Power, Moog and Collins Aerospace, VAS is promoted as an engineering company run by engineers.