Engineering the future
Apprenticeships can and do add value to on-going business activity, whereby Tidyco is committed to offering an eclectic mix of apprenticeship schemes from its Derby based manufacturing plant.

Whilst many people associate apprenticeship placements within manufacturing or engineering disciplines, there is potential to be gained elsewhere within an organisation.

Tidyco does indeed offer hydraulic engineering apprenticeships but also positions apprentices within customer services and accounts whereby the company has enjoyed tremendous success over the past few years.

Rather than adopt the philosophy of apprenticeships being a mid-term investment, Tidyco strives to ensure staff retention and development within the company after the placement has finished.

Joining Tidyco in 2015 as an apprentice, Christopher Hamp was retained by the business and promoted to the role of Coordinator for the Hose Doctor Division.

A typical working day for Chris witnesses him allocating jobs to a mobile fleet of engineers who are required to replace blown hydraulic hoses so as to minimise critical downtime.

Chris comments; “I joined Tidyco as part of an apprenticeship placement within the Tidyco customer services team. This acted as a solid foundation to build inter-personal skills with clients.

I really liked the company and was thrilled when Tidyco offered me full time employment. Nowadays, I work within the Hose Doctor Division whereby I react to customer requirements and allocate engineers to complete on-site work schedules.

The technology is fascinating, I have sophisticated vehicle tracking and live traffic monitoring software at my disposal which empowers me to allocate engineers within closest proximity to the site. This not only reduces critical down time but is also great for the environment as it minimises unnecessary driving.

I am currently undergoing a Level 4 NVQ in Business Administration.”

Tidyco’s finance department appointed Tom Robotham in 2017 as an apprentice to handle accounting administration requirements. More recently, Tom has been promoted to the position of Credit Control Executive whereby he adds value to the business by ensuring customer payment activity is effectively regulated.

Tom states; “I feel incredibly valued by Tidyco and believe that my role is crucial in supporting an important aspect of the company’s finances.”

Tom is currently completing an AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting.

Understandably, Tidyco believes in encouraging the younger generation into the realms of manufacturing and engineering. The Tidyco Climate Control Division employs George Powell as an apprentice whereby he is developing all necessary skills so as to build a career as an air conditioning engineer. George is undergoing a Level 2 NVQ in Installing, Testing and Maintaining Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems.

Well known for its involvement within the rail industry, Tidyco has been supplying rolling stock OEM new builds and aftersales markets for over 40 years.

The Derby based Tidyco manufacturing plant is intrinsic to supplying rail clients with safety critical braking systems. Since launching the Tidyco apprenticeship scheme in 2008, Philip Mason – Production Director for Tidyco continues to feel passionate about encouraging apprenticeship schemes throughout the organisation whereby the shop floor currently employs two apprentices; Jack Challis and Ben Horobin.

Phil says; “It is imperative that manufacturing and engineering SMEs make apprenticeship schemes a part of overall company strategies. The industry is at risk of losing a vast amount of skill if it fails to make engineering an exciting proposition to the workforce of tomorrow. I am quite literally, engineering the future.”

Tidyco has recently launched a new state-of-the-art training centre within its manufacturing plant, with the facilities to provide both written and practical courses.

Furthermore, Phil has recently devised the 2019 Tidyco Toolbox challenge which is an initiative through collaboration with educational establishments to re-introduce metalwork and engineering to secondary schools throughout Derby with the objective of making pupils work ready.

Tidyco also offers a variety of school and college work experience placements as well as yearlong University Internships.

It never ends!

Important to consider is lifelong learning whereby continuous professional development forms an important part of Tidyco’s Corporate Social Responsibility Statement of Intent.

About the author

Barry Aldridge MCIM

Head of Marketing at Tidyco Limited and member of the Board of Directors for Midlands Rail Forum.