• Metal, Machines, and Milestones:

    Stories from the Sapcote Engineering Workshop

In the evolving landscape of engineering, Sapcote Engineering consistently offers avenues for training and development. The progression of Matt Marriott, from apprentice to welding supervisor, demonstrates the company’s supportive environment.

Six and a half years ago, a young Matt saw an advertisement in the newspaper about an apprenticeship opportunity at Sapcote Engineering. “I was looking for something to do in the engineering world,” Matt recalls, reflecting on his decision to drop his A-levels in Law, Business and IT to choose hands-on learning instead. Today, after learning, evolving, and growing with the company, Matt has been given a new role as welding coordinator and is transitioning into a supervisory role.

Welding remains an invaluable skill in the UK’s manufacturing sector and essential to many industries. The surge in construction activities, infrastructure upgrades, advancements in manufacturing, coupled with the anticipated retirement of half the country’s welders by 2027, has led to a huge void in welding and pipefitting skills. However new technologies have transformed welding into a cleaner, safer and more importantly, well-paid industry and given the soaring demand for skilled welders, the profession has become a more attractive career path.

A Company Transformed

The acquisition of Sapcote Engineering by i3 Group Solutions Ltd in 2021 marked a new era of investment and innovation. “The look of the place has really changed,” Matt states. Adopting Lean and 5S principles, the workspace now boasts improved storage, better workflow, and a contemporary look. Because of the increase in automation work, the addition of new, modern machinery like laser cutters increased productivity and throughput. On the horizon, Matt anticipates a possible need for a larger factory to accommodate the company’s growth.

Championing the Next Generation

A key aspect of Sapcote’s ethos is its focus on continuous learning and skills development. Whether it’s the internationally accredited qualifications or working with prominent customers like PepsiCo and McVities, the opportunities are plentiful.

Currently, Sapcote Engineering is mentoring 8 apprentices in diverse fields, collaborating with top regional educational institutions. Although Matt didn’t have a structured mentoring program during his time as an apprentice 6 years ago, he benefited greatly from the collective expertise of his colleagues. “All the guys I was learning from would do it in a different way,” he says, emphasising the importance of hands-on experience and learning from varied perspectives.

The day in the life of a welding coordinator

Matt’s role is vital to ensuring the company’s projects adhere to the highest standards. Checking every weld and finish to guarantee quality and safety within a large infrastructure project such as a factory platform, is an onerous task, particularly when working to BS EN 1090 standards. There are often hundreds of welds and joins to approve and Matt plays a pivotal role in upholding Sapcote’s reputation for excellence.

Matt’s journey, from an apprentice to a leader, underscores Sapcote Engineering’s commitment to nurturing talent and investing in the future. As the company continues its legacy of excellence, it does so with a renewed emphasis on innovation, employee empowerment, and a vision for a brighter future in manufacturing and engineering sectors.

He sums up his daily experiences at Sapcote Engineering in three words: “intriguing, challenging, and fun.”

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