AN ENGINEERING company celebrating its fiftieth year on Teesside has welcomed the latest set of recruits onto its established ‘Year in Industry’ undergraduate programme this summer.

ElringKlinger (GB), which is ranked among the top three automotive parts’ suppliers worldwide, has taken on four students currently studying Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons) to a year-long placement to gain real work experience alongside their education.

22-year-old Ben Russell and 21-year-old Connor Jackson from Northumbria University have joined 21-year-old Rohan Gill and 27-year-old Daniel Wilson from Teesside University to embark on the placement at the Redcar plant, where automotive parts are manufactured for the likes of Ford, Jaguar Landrover and BMW.

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Teesside University student Rohan Gill said: “We only started a few weeks ago but we’ve been able to get stuck in straight away. So far, I’ve been working on the shopfloor getting to grips with the processes.

“My role will be based in the commercial department as applications support engineer, alongside Daniel. This means we’ll be in direct communication with the customer, dealing with quotations and product IDs prior to their manufacture going live and issuing certificates for parts online.

“I think having this experience to supplement our degrees will give us an edge when we go back for final year and help us to understand elements of the modules that apply to what we’ve been involved in at ElringKlinger.

“I’m really looking forward to learning from the experienced engineers who are guiding us through each step of the process in the coming months and reaping the benefits of not just being a fresh graduate in the longer term.”

Connor, who has been placed in production engineering, has spent a week in each production area on the shopfloor working alongside the engineers and production manager to develop line efficiencies and continuous improvement. Ben has also taken up the role of project engineer, aiming to cut down manufacture cycle times and maximise efficiency of machines; getting the process ready for safe operation.

Meanwhile Daniel is based in the commercial department as applications engineer support, where he will be getting involved in the client-facing side of the business and project work.

ElringKlinger (GB) managing director Ian Malcolm said: “We see such importance in continuing to dedicate time and resources towards our Year in Industry programme to give the next generation of engineers a platform from which to increase their career prospects.

“The skills gap is still very much an issue in today’s industry so it shouldn’t be something we shy away from, but instead confront head-on by investing in the future talent pipeline in our region.

“The rewards we get in return is having a workforce brimming with enthusiasm, and seeing the transition of younger minds being moulded into experienced professionals.”