I’ve posted a few things about training over the past months. The opening of the new Foundry Training Centre, comments in the foundry census about training, that kind of thing. All highly commendable and what the industry as a whole needs to engage with if it is to grow and prosper. Unfortunately, there can be a view that training, particularly technical training, is something that happens somewhere else. You send your apprentice off to college and they come back all shiny and trained. Whilst this is all part of a rich and varied training environment, there’s a lot more to it than that. For example, how does a foundry apprentice who works in, say, a continuous cast bar foundry get experience of making moulds in sand? Difficult if there isn’t a grain of sand where they work which brings me neatly back to the contents of a another recent post – The Art of Cooperation. Click on it to see what I was talking about.
If foundries can work together and provide practical help with the training process, showing apprentices production techniques they would normally not use then everybody wins. The apprentice, the companies involved, the trainer and the organisation arranging the training. Which is why it was a pleasure to welcome these guys for a day at Durham Foundry to experience sand moulding and core making in a jobbing ironfoundry as part of their Institute of Cast Metals Engineers (ICME) Level 3 Diploma in Casting Technology.
From left to right, Ian Green (ICME Lecturer) who is the course trainer, Josh (Trainee – Durham Foundry) who we let run the mornings activities thereby gaining practical management skills, Danny (Trainee – Wm Cook, Leeds) and Richard and Mike (Trainees – United Cast Bar). The last two work in a continuous cast bar foundry and had never rammed a mould, set a core or closed a box. Now they have and they seemed to enjoy it. The more our industry can work together and help fill in the gaps of the work experience of anyone training as a moulder, or anything else for that matter, the stronger and more resilient an industry we will have.
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