North East pump manufacturer invests in training

Shower pump manufacturer Salamander Pumps is strengthening its commitment to customer service and product development, with an in-house apprenticeship programme that has seen its first student graduate into a permanent role, while seven of its staff are combining work with studying for qualifications.

Salamander has appointed 22-year-old Jayson Shepherd as research and development engineer, following a successful three-year apprenticeship to complete his HNC in Mechanical Engineering and an NVQ level three in Engineering Technical Support.

Stepping into Jayson’s shoes is Lewis Wilkes, who is studying for an HNC in Mechanical Engineering and becomes the company’s second full time apprentice.

Gareth Richards, Technical Director at Salamander Pumps said: “We committed to an apprenticeship programme several years ago, to encourage young people into the industry and promote a ‘grow our own skills base’ culture. As an ex-apprentice myself I have first-hand experience of the value of this method of kick-starting a career, and the opportunities it presents for young people and their employers.

“In Jayson we have a young, ready-made engineer whose contribution is wholly relevant to our business, and his ideas have already made a positive impact within our research and development programme.”

Jayson said: “My apprenticeship with Salamander has given me a solid start to my career and I’ve gained experience in product testing, compliance and approvals, ISO 9001, maintenance, CAD systems and project management. To be given the freedom to bring ideas to life and help to develop the products of the future so early in my career is fantastic.”

As part of Salamander’s pledge to continuous training for all its staff, seven members of the technical, administration and support teams are combining their roles with studying for a range of qualifications including manufacturing engineering, sales, business administration and contact centre operations.

Among them are marketing assistant Stephanie Clark, who joined the company as a graduate intern in 2014, and ex-plumber Ken Vance who recently completed an HNC in Manufacturing Engineering and works on the Customer Service Desk.

Salamander works with training organisations Tyne North Training and In-Training to deliver its apprenticeship and staff training programmes.

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Pictured left to right: Gareth Richards, Lewis Wilkes, Ken Vance, Stephanie Clark, Jayson Shepherd.

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