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Simon Hannar owner of Pipeline Precision Engineering Ltd earned his stripes as an apprentice himself; and has gone on to establish and scale an exciting and robust organisation. He acknowledges the importance of finding the right people for his team – and that always includes apprentices.
“I was lucky – I had the best apprenticeship [with Redpath Engineering Services] and I try to instil that into the guys that come into the business”.
“I think the best engineers are ones that have served their time it allows them to have a full appreciation and understanding of what the job entails. I’ve encountered so many people who’ve got degree and so many letters after their name, but they haven’t got a clue about what is actually going on on the shopfloor … and since 2010 we have aimed to appoint at least one new apprentice every year”.
Pipeline Precision Engineering was established in 2009 as an ISO 9001:2015 certified designer and manufacturer of pressure vessels, piping systems and pipeline equipment. Since then, it has grown and diversified to include structural work and currently employs 14 staff.
“It is early days but he [Fraser, the newest apprentice at PPE] has hit the ground running, he’s fantastic – probably one of the best apprentices we’ve had. We will be assessing him in a few months and may consider moving him up to a second year apprenticeship – he’s not just an average 17 year old. What would be my advice to companies considering an apprentice – make sure you have the right candidate to fit in and grow with your business; and a good team of mentors in place on your existing team too”.
“I was massively impressed with the set up at facilities at Hartlepool College, I thought they were brilliant and the courses that they are running – I don’t know anywhere else around here running things like that, even though there is a demand for it. This is where Hartlepool College go that extra mile”.
“We don’t take on apprentices for their 4 years and then cast them aside, we want them to grow with the business and go into the fields that they want – but learn their trade first with us. Once we take them on, from day one we are looking at the big picture – as long as the company doors are open; they’ve got a job here”.
Finding businesses with such a passionate view on the journey of an apprentice is very special, but Simon’s story and his commitment to training the next generation of engineers is truly inspiring. Thank you, Simon and the Pipeline Precision Engineering team, for #TransformingLives with us.
By Hartlepool College of Further Education