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In-house training programme pays off

The need to continue to run at full production capacity combined with the imminent skills shortage within the GRP & Composites industry saw NORCO take the plunge in 2022 and start an in-house trainee training program.

Established in 1985 in Poole, Dorset, NORCO specialises in large composite structures and GRP mouldings for end users in the UK and Europe.

Utilising the company’s experienced and skilled employees, NORCO has steered the training program towards a more traditional mentor and trainee approach. The primary objective is to get as high a level of trainee in as short a timescale as possible. NORCO has focused on quality rather than quantity ensuring that the people who come through the company doors are prepared for the challenge ahead of them.

NORCO has 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 single boat is a 3-to-4-day production process from start to release; trainees get to repeat the basic processes that build most GRP structures, including Gel coat application, CSM consolidation, Fabric consolidation and Core bonding.

Trainees spend around 20 weeks 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.

Head of Training, Shaun Beauchamp comments, “We have been very fortunate to utilise Chris Trowbridge in Laminating and Neil Ancell in Finishing as mentors; both are highly respected members of staff. We have begun to rotate the laminating mentors every 3 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.”

Operating from six sites with an overall capacity of 130,000 sq ft, NORCO employs over 170 skilled workers and trains its staff to NVQ standards. NORCO provides a complete composites manufacturing service from design & engineering through to parts manufacturing and final assembly. The company is certified to ISO9001 & ISO14001 and holds the UK government Cyber Essentials accreditation.

Exhibitor; NORCO 

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