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Tool room apprentice takes a step forward in product development

Our tool room apprentice Max Tennant recently completed his first press tool – an important step in his journey to becoming a qualified tool engineer.

Max joined The Expanded Metal Company’s apprenticeship programme in 2018. Since then, he has been supporting our team with tool manufacturing, maintenance, development and testing activities while learning a wealth of new practical skills.

The tool produced by Max will be used in the manufacture of our barbecue mesh pieces.

Completion of this task is a further boost to Max’s development within The Expanded Metal Company. As part of his apprenticeship, Max, who is from Hartlepool, is working towards qualifications including BTEC National Diploma, PEO Level 2, Functional skills ICT, Employment Rights and Responsibilities and NVQ Level 3 at The Technical Academy at East Durham College

Last year, Max was invited to Sweden to visit Uddeholm, one of our tool material suppliers. This allowed him to expand his specialist knowledge and gain an insight into the manufacturing operations of the business. He attended technical seminars which provided an insight into applications, heat treatment and other additional services – an experience which has further supported his development within The Expanded Metal Company.

Speaking about the experience Max Tennant, said: “I feel overwhelmed! Working to complete a press tool has been a great experience and a learning curve for me. It took three months to finish it and it has allowed me to apply a lot of the practical skills I have gained throughout my apprenticeship.

“Since joining The Expanded Metal Company, I have been able to gain developed a variety of skills in tool manufacturing and development and machine setting. I’m looking forward to working on future projects.”

Philip Astley, managing director at The Expanded Metal Company, said: “We’re delighted to see that Max is progressing so well with us and that he is applying what he has learned in a practical way. We are proud to play a part in helping young people from our region to develop specialist skills through our apprenticeship programme.

“With more than a century of industrial of experience in expanded metal mesh manufacturing and fabrication, we have a wealth of expertise. It’s fantastic that we are able to give apprentices such as Max the opportunity to tap into this.”