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HETA's 50th Anniversary

6th February 2017

The company is targeting potential apprentices, families and schools to try and encourage more students into engineering. It is also urging more employers to invest in filling the skills gap.

At the heart of HETA’s campaign is its history and track record. The company wants to find as many people as possible who have worked or trained at its sites in Hull, Stallingborough and Scunthorpe during the last 50 years.

It is also appealing to employers who have played a part in the history of HETA to showcase the skills of former apprentices and demonstrate the impact they have made on the region’s industrial landscape.

Iain Elliott, Chief Executive of HETA, said the celebrations will peak on the date of the anniversary in September, but he added that the programme of activities which is being drawn up is designed to deliver a serious message.

He said: “There is a serious shortage of engineers and everyone at HETA spends all their working hours doing everything they can to address that. We already organise events and run initiatives to get more young people into engineering and to secure more paid apprenticeship places from employers, and this anniversary is literally a golden opportunity to do more.

HETA’s strength is its people, from the apprentices to every member of staff, and that has been the case throughout our history. We therefore want to contact as many people as we can who have trained at HETA, worked at HETA and done business with HETA.

We want them to help us show how HETA has changed over the last 50 years, which companies have benefited from the skills taught at HETA and what sort of projects have been completed with the help of people who began their careers at HETA.

We know there are former HETA apprentices on the staff of most of the businesses that we work with. But our first apprentices will be retired by now. Some might be on the other side of the world, and they will all have stories to share. So if you worked at HETA, or have friends or family who worked here, please get in touch.

HETA’s first premises were at the engineering company of Charles D Holmes & Co Ltd in Alfred Street, Hull. Four of the 10 founding companies from 1967 still exist today although some identities have changed slightly – William Broady & Son Ltd, Bankside Patterson Ltd, Alex E Carr Ltd and AFOS Ltd.

As HETA grew so did the support of employers, and the increasing interest of businesses south of the Humber led to the opening of a second training centre at Huntsman Tioxide in Grimsby. The centre moved to Acordis and is now based at CATCH, Stallingborough. HETA opened a third site at Corus in Scunthorpe and moved that centre to Foxhills in 2014.

From a team of five which launched HETA, the company now employs 70 people. From 30 apprentices in the first year and 60 in year two the company increased to average 100 a year during the 1970s. It now welcomes around 200 new apprentices every year.

Iain added: “We’ve trained thousands of young men and women and helped them to embark on careers in engineering. Hopefully we will be able to find some of those people and get their help in finding and inspiring the engineers of the future.”

Anyone who has anecdotes and other information about HETA’s first 50 years is asked to contact Charlotte Hogben on 01482 372677, email