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Smith & Nephew graduates gain workshop experience with HETA

1st May 2016

A global business which was launched in Hull 160 years ago is investing to secure its future with the help of HETA.

Smith & Nephew already takes apprentices from HETA and has now launched a new project to top up the skills of graduates recruited from universities around the UK.

The first group has begun a six-week course at HETA’s Hull site. The practical training they receive will help Smith & Nephew decide how to make the most of their skills within the company’s 1,000-strong workforce in Hull – and within the global team of 14,000.

David Stephenson, Senior Engineering Projects Manager for the company’s global operations, said: 

We take a number of engineering graduates into our Engineering Academy every year and they move around the business during a two-year programme designed to give them a thorough grounding and to find out what sort of things they enjoy and where they might fit in best.

We started this project because it is important that engineers have experience in workshop practices. We already use HETA for our apprentices so I had every reason to believe that the graduates would receive first class training here.

The project is all about investing in the future of Smith & Nephew’s Hull site and in the people who will be the future of the site.

We have spent £50 million in the last three years on capital investment in Hull. It is a pioneering site and the global centre for research and development for the company’s range of Wound Management products. A lot of the innovative products on the market now like ALLEVYN™ foam dressings, PICO™ single use negative pressure therapy and DURAFIBER™ Ag gelling fibre dressings were first created at the Hull site and many of them are still made there.

James McIntosh, HETA’s Business Development and Marketing Manager, said: 

HETA is recognised as a major player in delivering traineeships and apprenticeships but we also work closely with employers in many other ways, and this is an example of the bespoke courses that we can provide.

We worked closely with Dave and his team to put together this course which enables the graduates to build on the skills they have learned at university and within Smith & Nephew. They will work on all sorts of equipment and techniques including CAD, manual assembly, machining using lathes, milling machines and pedestal drills and also welding and fabrication.