Niall Madden recalls being constantly told by his teachers in secondary school that 3rd level education was the best route to take after school. Trusting his instincts however the now 26 year old joined Keltech in 2011 to pursue a more hands on career right from the off.
Having been identified by Keltech senior management as a candidate with high potential Niall was chosen to be the very first Keltech employee to undertake a 4 year Apprenticeship in Metal Fabrication, on completion Niall will hold a QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Metal Fabrication.
Now in his second year of the apprenticeship Niall is delighted with his decision. “I really feel like this was a much better option, I wasn’t much into the books in school and I don’t think I’d have lasted long in traditional third level anyway.”
Instead of paying third-level registration fees of €3,000 a year for a college course, Niall is currently being paid as part of this “earn and learn” approach. The tailored apprenticeship consists of 7 different phases, 4 of which are delivered on site at Keltech and 3 of which are delivered off site by the ETB.
Pat Power Niall’s mentor for the duration of the programme and himself a Qualified Fitter explains the driving factors behind Keltech’s decision to begin offering apprenticeships to high potential candidates. “In the past 5 years we certainly noticed a drop in the skill level of young candidates applying for roles at the factory. The company has been and always will be built on the skills of our workforce, our reputation of turning out top quality product is industry renowned. Im a big believer in personal development; investment in skills and training. Having served my own time over 30 years ago now those core skills I acquired are still every bit as applicable today as they were then.”
So what next for Niall? By the time he has completed the 4 year programme he will be highly proficient in all areas of the manufacturing process; Panel Bending, Welding (MIG & TIG), Paint Preparation and Finishing, and both Mechanical and Electrical assembly. Niall will soon be absorbed into the NPI (New Product Introduction) team says Pat “Instead of the traditional approach to prototyping where sample parts are made alongside ongoing production we now plan to create a rapid prototyping cell where Niall will take the sample from flat sheet steel right through to the finished assembly in a fraction of the time. This approach we hope will cut our prototype lead time to the customer in half we estimate”
Apprenticeship’s on the rise again
The numbers of employers hiring apprentices is increasing with a total of 540 employers in 2018 compared to around 1,000 at the end of 2019.
Latest figures show there are more than 6,000 apprenticeship employers, compared to about 3,500 in 2015.
Keltech’s core most valuable asset is our people, investment in our people is investment in our company’s future.
All enquiries for employment should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using CFD Technology to Innovate Tank Designs
Its a year and a half since Seamus Lawlor Keltech Business Development Manager first made contact with Atlas GmbH to discuss the possibility of a supply partnership. "the sales cycle in our industry from my initial point of contact through to actually being production approved can be in cases up to 24 months".
Whatever your industry, your machine goes through a lot…..
Machinery is constantly exposed to the harsh elements of nature. Whether working in an Australian mine , on the German Autobahn, or in the middle of a city centre construction site; driving rain, dust, sand and sunlight are unforgiving forces that wear on your machines paintwork all year around.
Keltech's Growth Hack
In 2014 Keltech employed staff of 70 people. Now nearing the end of Quarter 1 2020 the Keltech workforce stands at 250 people and growing. In spite of Brexit our customer acquisition numbers over the past 36 months have been the highest in our 30 year history.
K2 Building Doubles Keltech’s Welding Capacity
Keltech, specialists in the manufacture of Tanks, Acoustic Enclosures, Overhead Guards and Cabins have announced the opening of an additional new 30,000 square feet fabrication facility bringing the total size of their Waterford city plant to 150,000 square feet.
Graduates Awarded MIG Welding Certification
Keltech, specialists in the manufacture of Tanks, Acoustic Enclosures, Overhead Guards/Cabins and Complex Sheet Metal Assemblies welcomes 10 new graduates of an Intensive MIG Welding Programme. The programme has been specifically tailored to meet the needs of Keltech whom supply OEMs in Ireland, the UK, Europe & the US.
Women in Engineering "Tatjana Basek"
According to a report conducted by Engineers Ireland in 2018 just 12% of all engineering professionals in this country are female, women very much remain an untapped resource in the sector. With a current shortage of Engineers in the market we were intrigued by this statistic and met with our very own Quality Technician Ms Tatjana Basek to discuss “Women in Engineering”.