Brighouse welded mesh manufacturer launches bespoke training programme for new recruits

Welded steel mesh manufacturer Siddall and Hilton Products is celebrating the success of a new, bespoke training programme it has developed as part of its ongoing recruitment drive.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 10:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 10:50 am

With six new starters having already joined the long-established business since January, it is currently looking for another three people to train as mesh operators.

The Brighouse-based company, which is the UK’s largest manufacturer of welded steel mesh for high-security fencing, general fencing and industrial mesh panels, has seen strong growth over the last couple of years.

As well as recently announcing a £2m investment in a specialist welding machine to increase capacity and efficiency, it is also continuing to expand and develop its 55 plus-strong team.

Nick Brown (left) showing Josh Falkiner the control panel on the latest specialist welding machine
Nick Brown (left) showing Josh Falkiner the control panel on the latest specialist welding machine

Ian Thurley, chief executive, said: “In the past, we’ve looked at developing our people through engineering apprenticeships and college courses, but off-the-shelf training is simply not relevant given the specialist nature of our work.

"With the business continuing to grow, we realised that we needed to devise our own training programme, designed to equip someone new to the industry with the skills to run one of our sophisticated machines within around six months.

“One of our most experienced mesh operators, Nick Brown, took on the role of in-house training expert and has developed a training programme for each of our four active machines.

"Working with just one or two new recruits at a time, he takes them through an eight-week long structured and supported induction process, covering every aspect of this complex kit before they pass on to shift.

"After only three months, we are already seeing some of our ‘longer-serving’ joiners able to run a machine with supervision and progressing well on shift, demonstrating the benefits of this new initiative.”

As well as recently announcing a £2m investment in a specialist welding machine to increase capacity and efficiency, it is also continuing to expand and develop its 55 plus-strong team.

ne of the trainees, Richard Haigh of Heckmondwike who joined Siddall and Hilton in January having previously worked in warehousing, said: “The job appealed to me as it sounded a bit different, so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s actually really good – the training went well, with every button being explained to me before I started working on my own. It’s challenging, but I really enjoy it and I’ve had lots of positive feedback.

"It’s the first job I’ve had where there’s scope to progress; having been trained on one machine, I’m now being encouraged to learn another. It’s the sort of company where if you’re a good worker and you want to learn, they will support you.”