Having the foresight of the imminent skills shortage within the GRP & Composites industry, NORCO took the contingent decision to start inhouse training. This planning ensured that we would continue to run at full production capacity to meet our customers’ schedules.
Utilising their experienced and skilled employees, NORCO steered the training program towards a more traditional mentor and trainee approach. The primary objective was to get a high level of trainee in a short timescale as possible. NORCO focused on quality rather than quantity because they believe that the most important thing is to ensure that the people who come through their doors are prepared for the challenge ahead of them.
NORCO updated both laminating and finishing training schedules to accommodate the trainee and business needs. Once the trainees have reached a certain level on their schedules, they progress from the training centre to a small boat production line. They buddy-up with a mentor where they gain a lot of confidence through repeat process. A boat is a 3-to-4-day process from start to release, where trainees can repeat the basic processes to build most GRP structures, which include:
- Gel coat application
- CSM consolidation
- Fabric consolidation
- Core bonding
The trainees spend around 20 weeks with on the small boat production line by which time they have become proficient in an overall basic application and knowledge. They are then transferred to the company skills matrix so their development path can be monitored throughout their training.
Head of Training, Shaun Beauchamp comments: “We have been very fortunate to utilise Chris Trowbridge in laminating and Neil Ancell in finishing as mentors, who are both highly respected members of staff. We have begun to rotate the laminating mentors every 3 months and are very pleased to have both Steve Darby and Carl Randle coming forward for the role. Pending on the schedules, this will continue to strengthen our training, help cover leave, and will give great development opportunities to our more experienced staff.”
If you are interested in becoming a trainee, please visit: https://www.norco.co.uk/careers/