Under the close tutelage of David Muncaster, director of operations and business development, the two new Heaford team members have both started four-year apprenticeships incorporating formal academic training in their chosen fields. Having studied electrical and electronic engineering to date, Hakim Ali will now train to qualify in mechatronics. Gwilym Heaford will build on experience across a range of engineering fields, including an award in Industrial Environmental Awareness, to qualify in mechanical engineering.
“This is an awesome opportunity,” comments Ali. “Not only do I get to learn what I consider to be a really exciting field of engineering today, but I’m doing it in a proper business environment, experiencing all the real pressures and demands of meeting needs day-to-day and learning from the experienced guys that have a huge amount of knowledge. I can’t wait to be contributing more to new product developments as they happen.”
The company also recently presented awards to four long-service achievers. Between them, Phil Lewtas, Graham Littler, Paul Robson and Nigel Heaford have served more than 100 years with JM Heaford; both production supervisor Paul Robson and international sales manager Nigel Heaford joined the company as young apprentices themselves. The four attributed this longevity to, among other things, the working atmosphere and the satisfaction of receiving customer thanks, as well as the challenge of supplying to “an industry that is constantly pushing its own barriers."
During their time at JM Heaford, the group has contributed to several key technology developments such as the introduction of microdot mounting to the flexographic market. For senior design engineer Graham Littler, these have included the personal success of numerous patents, including the award-winning FTS mounter and AutoMounter technology.
“We always try to maintain a balanced intake of new talent, for the benefit of our customers, of our own reputation and of the industry as a whole,” comments Sally-Anne Heaford, managing director of JM Heaford. “It’s not always easy to attract young talent prepared to commit for the long-term, but we see it as an essential step in ensuring continuity of our knowhow, manufacturing standards and ongoing service to our global install base. Hakim and Gwilym follow in the footsteps of a number of successful apprentices over the past few years who have stayed with us and flourished. For their time investment, they will be rewarded with some of the best hands-on training available from seasoned professionals in an industry that guarantees to keep them on their toes for the duration.”