Training programme for foundry workers looking to recruit next cohort

A new training programme, which improves the competitiveness of the foundry sector, has been completed and is looking to recruit its next cohort.

The Certificate in Cast Iron Production, Metallurgy and Quality Control – delivered as a joint venture by ICME and The Cast Metals Federation (CMF) – has helped increase the knowledge and progression of staff at WM Lee in Dronfield.

Delivered over an 18-month period, the course has combined focused learning through a mix of classroom delivery, practical sessions, and workplace projects.

The results have been fantastic with many of the shopfloor improvement exercises delivering cost savings and efficiency gains, whilst several new processes have been introduced to rectify material failures and reduce defects.

Pam Murrell, CEO of the Cast Metals Federation said: “The value of this course for our industry speaks for itself in the positive responses from all those involved and the fact that the costs of putting employees through it has already been recouped from bottom-line benefits.

 “It’s been a real team effort, with input from the CMF, ICME, companies on their specific training needs, then from our tutors and some industry suppliers who have helped with technical content and delivering the programme.”

She went on to add: “The key to success has been the ‘in-company’ projects at WM Lee, which have ensured that the business gets additional value from the course. 

“Clearly the professional development of their teams and their ability to ‘problem solve’ and deal with process and quality improvements though their improved understanding of cast iron is important, and the face-to-face teaching and practical hands-on learning in the ECMS National Foundry Training Centre will have contributed hugely.” 

WM Lee is an iron foundry based in Dronfield, specialising in parts for truck manufacturing.

Amy Worrallo, training and quality manager for ICME, said: “This course was developed in response to a clear need from industry for a practical programme, focused on the metallurgy and production of the suite of cast irons.

“It included modules on melting and shop floor quality controls, raw material selection, metal treatments, as well as testing and quality assurance.

“From meeting the students at the start of the programme it is rewarding to witness first-hand the positive impact the training has had not only on the individuals, but the companies involved.”