Manufacturer goes back to school to grow own engineers

First-year Lambert apprentice Ben Newby under the mentorship of technical director Paul Newby. (S)
First-year Lambert apprentice Ben Newby under the mentorship of technical director Paul Newby. (S)
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A commitment to building stronger partnerships with education has reaped dividends for a growing Tadcaster manufacturer.

Lambert, which makes automation systems, equipment engineering and precision components, has just hit the 1,000 milestone for working with pupils in nearby primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and is currently recruiting five more apprentices to take its total to 11 employed in the past two years.

It is all part of an eight-year plan to raise the image of industry and attract the next generation of engineers.

As a result, Lambert was last week named the National Winner of the ‘Partnerships with Education’ Award at the EEF/Aldermore Future Manufacturing Awards.

“Engineering isn’t just our business – we are passionate about it. We want to make sure that young people recognise the opportunities that a career in this sector offers and understand the skills that companies like ours are looking to nurture,” said managing director Warren Limbert.

“We shouldn’t expect the Government to do this for us, so we decided – as part of our growth strategy – to develop a plan of action that would span from the very grassroots into further and higher education. Furthermore, it would engage our own staff to deliver and drive it.

“There are nearly 40 employees currently working with schools, colleges and universities on a whole host of projects. These include factory visits, open days for parents and teachers, speed dating with engineers, graduate placements and even sponsoring homework diaries.

“The EEF/Aldermore Award is a prestigious title to win and fantastic validation that our approach seems to be working.”

Lambert grew rapidly in 2015, securing several new contracts in the medical device and packaging sectors. Sales have broken £26m for the first time in its 42-year history and the company has increased its workforce by nearly 20 per cent to 183 staff.

Over the next 12 months the company plans to add £8m of new contracts and employ a further 25 people.
Lambert is currently working with more than a dozen educational establishments andhas also played a significant role in the development of the UTC Leeds bid, which is due to open in September this year.