A commitment to building stronger partnerships with education has reaped dividends for a growing Tadcaster manufacturer.

Lambert, a leading provider of automation systems, equipment engineering and precision components, has just hit the 1000 milestone for working with pupils in nearby primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities – all geared towards raising the image of industry and attracting the next generation of engineers.

The company’s eight-year plan has seen its reputation as an employer of choice rise rapidly and it is currently in the process of recruiting five more apprentices to take its total to 11 employed in the past two years.

This commitment has not gone unnoticed, with the manufacturers’ organisation EEF Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) naming the firm as the National Winner of its ‘Partnerships with Education’ Award in the EEF/Aldermore Future Manufacturing Awards last week.

“Engineering isn’t just our business – we are passionate about it. We want to make sure that young people recognise the opportunities that a career in this sector offers and understand the skills that companies like ours are looking to nurture,” explained Warren Limbert, Managing Director.

“We shouldn’t expect the Government to do this for us so we decided – as part of our growth strategy – to develop a plan of action that would span from the very grassroots into further and higher education. Furthermore, it would engage our own staff to deliver and drive it.”

He continued: “There are nearly 40 employees currently working with schools, colleges and universities on a whole host of projects. These include factory visits, open days for parents and teachers, speed dating with engineers, graduate placements and even sponsoring homework diaries.

“The EEF/Aldermore Award is a prestigious title to win and fantastic validation that our approach seems to be working. It is also great for our employees, who without their commitment and passion, this programme wouldn’t be nowhere near as successful.”

Lambert has enjoyed a major period of growth in 2015, securing a host of new contracts to secure modular manufacturing platforms for the medical device and packaging sectors.

Sales have broken £26m for the first time in its 42-year history and the company has increased its workforce by nearly 20% to 183 staff. The next twelve months look equally as exciting, with plans to add £8m of new contracts and employ a further 25 people.

“Although we are world leaders in automation and bespoke machinery, our success comes from the people who work here and we continually need the next generation of talented manufacturing professionals to join us,” continued Warren, who joined the business as a Project Engineer nearly 20 years ago.

“Our apprenticeship scheme has already trained 38 young people and we are continually looking at evolving it…one example being a move towards making the training more mechatronic based as Industry 4.0 will play a significant role in industry going forward.

“This isn’t about getting cheap labour. It’s about developing talented individuals in the culture of Lambert and equipping them with the highest skills possible.”

He went on to add: “Each apprentice will go to college for the first year full-time, followed by twelve months spending time in all areas of the business to understand what we do and cover the core skills of the NVQ.

“Third and fourth years are then focused on their final department destination, with a qualified mentor helping them throughout the duration of their learning. In parallel with their training they also continue academic studies with some going to university. Outside of the formal training, we also run annual apprentice projects, with this year’s task to build a lightweight football table with no budget.”

Lambert is currently working with more than a dozen educational establishments, including Read School, Selby High, Sherburn High, Riverside, Tadcaster Grammar, Selby College, York College, Leeds University and Sheffield University.

It has also played a significant role in the development of the UTC Leeds bid, which is due to open in September this year.

For further information, please visit www.lamberteng.com or contact 01937 832921