Having the foresight of the imminent skills shortage within the GRP and composites industry, NORCO has taken the contingent decision to start in-house training.
This planning ensures that the company can continue to run at full production capacity to meet its customers’ schedules.
Utilising its experienced and skilled employees, NORCO steered the training programme 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 it believes that the most important thing is to ensure that the people who come through the company’s doors are prepared for the challenge ahead of them.
The company 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 typical boat build is a three to four-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.
“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,” stated head of training, Shaun Beauchamp. “We have begun to rotate the laminating mentors every three 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.”