Engineering technology apprentices Callum Sharman and Liam Riley are the latest students from Trafford College to have been recruited by cutting-edge railway product manufacturers, Howells Railway Products Ltd in Wythenshawe. 

The trainees will join existing Trafford apprentices Lewis Bird, Harry Purnell and Scott Edwards, gaining the opportunity to learn their way around state-of-the-art machinery, in what has become a showroom for Formula 1 sponsors and machine tool manufacturer Haas. 

The apprentices will work alongside Alex Barnes, who was the first student to join the college’s training programme through Howells four years ago. Alex is planning on returning to higher education at Trafford College this year, after rising through the ranks to chief programmer during his apprenticeship, taking on international projects from test runs right through to the production stage. 

Alex said: “I always feel like I can go to my tutors for help at the college. An apprenticeship education has really encouraged me to study independently and get additional certificates online. The next step for me is a HNC and one day going into management.” 

Second year Scott Edwards won Engineering Student of the Year with the college before joining Howells as an apprentice and found his niche working in the £1.6m fabrication workshop, with floor-to-ceiling robotic laser welder, after exploring different departments during his apprenticeship.  

Scott, who would like to be Head of Engineering one day, said: “An apprenticeship through Trafford College really gives you the confidence to succeed. There are so many skills you can take from college and apply here, from drawings through to hand tools and laser welding.” 

Due to the strong working relationship built between Howells and Trafford College, students benefit from educational visits with tutors to the company as well as masterclasses on the use of machinery from Howells staff. 

Quality Manager at Howells, David Roberts, said: “We have formed a fantastic synergy with the college. We feel it works really well. Trafford College provides the in-depth theoretical knowledge that we integrate with the practical. During our working relationship, Trafford College has been fantastic. Staff really understand our needs as a business and learning like this has been all the more important due to the pandemic.”

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