New cast of 12 apprentices at William Cook in Sheffield

Sheffield casting company William Cook is to recruit another dozen apprentices after the last intake progressed to full-time roles at the engineering group.

Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 3:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 4:33 pm
Apprentices at William Cook, Sheffield.

They will start in September and study at the AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham which has a new alliance with the National Foundry Training Centre, part of the new Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills, based in Wolverhampton.

The new recruits will be selected on the basis of their ‘enthusiasm for engineering, willingness to work and educational attainment’.

Sir Andrew Cook, chairman, said: “A maxim of mine is ‘If you want to stay in business, you must be the best in the business’.

“This requires capital: financial capital, machinery capital and human capital. Of the three, the human capital is the most important.

“Young people must be given jobs and trained well if a business is to survive and prosper. They must be motivated and enthused.

“Too often I see people, young and old, hiding behind a computer screen. This is no good.

“Repeatedly I have pledged to be the ‘last man standing’ in the real world of manufacturing. Manufacturing not will o’ the wisp software or discretionary disposables, but hard products of fine quality and engineered to work.

“The human capital of our apprentice schemes is the most important element of this, but this comes with a price: a price which has to be built into the product if there is to be long-term continuity in the life and health of the business.”

The firm is supporting a number of its most recent apprentices on foundation degree courses which combine work with part-time study at university. They give young people the chance to acquire learning while earning money at the same time.

The new recruits will have the chance to work on high-value products in the transport, defence, energy and structural steel markets.

William Cook designs and engineers key components for trains, combat vehicles and power stations and is a leader in specialist structural steelwork.