Engineering the future

Not only does Powerstar invest in the sustainable future of the planet, but also in the future of its workforce. It does this by championing career progression, offering sponsored professional development throughout the business and by taking on new apprentices each year.

Apprenticeships are not a new concept, especially within industries such as construction and engineering. Due to the amount of technical skills required to work within these fields, a work placed assessment with a one-day college release is an invaluable way to prepare people for a future in the industry.

As an energy efficiency company populated by skilled workers that manufacture on site in a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Sheffield, Powerstar understands how crucial apprenticeships are for the future of the workforce. Especially as it is regularly reported that an ageing workforce threatens to leave a skills gap for engineering jobs.

Whilst Powerstar has recruited apprentices for many years, in 2016, Powerstar started offering electrical engineering apprenticeships in partnership with the Sheffield Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

One year later, two of 2016’s apprentices, Ross,17, and Jamie,19, have developed their skill set considerably and surmounted many challenges whilst at the company.

Powerstar’s operations director, Lee Hudson, commented “It has been incredibly rewarding to watch Ross and Jamie learn, grow and develop their technical understanding, skills and work ethic over the past 12 months. They are undoubtedly setting the foundations for very promising careers within engineering.”

Reviewing the past year with the apprentices on the anniversary of their employment revealed the pair’s favourite and most challenging moments with the business.

Ross’ most enjoyable moments at Powerstar have occurred when he has been working on the Powerstar MAX voltage optimisation units. Ross claimed that the levels of focus and concentration that are required, combined with the practical nature of the task has allowed him to improve at an exponential rate.

Despite his enjoyment of working on the Powerstar MAX units, Ross cites learning the functions of the components as the most important skill that he has developed as this allowed him to approach the MAX units with confidence.

Jamie explained that his biggest accomplishment to date has been overcoming technical challenges such as the wiring of Human Machine Interface (HMI) plates and expressed that the help of the welcoming and experienced team at Powerstar has allowed him to succeed in moments when he was becoming disillusioned with the difficult tasks ahead of him.

This month, Powerstar held its annual apprenticeship assessment day at its head office and welcomed a new intake of candidates to the company. The day consisted of a factory tour, several ‘meet and greets’ with existing team members and both theoretical and practical tests. All the candidates exhibited a keen interest in engineering as a future career, and Powerstar look forward to welcoming a successful candidate in the near future.

To learn more about Powerstar’s company values, click here.

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