Otley manufacturer has the tools for success
Manufacturing business Craftsman Tools is growing its award-winning apprenticeship programme with help from the LEP.
Manufacturing business Craftsman Tools is growing its award-winning apprenticeship programme with help from the LEP. The company, which manufactures high quality tool holders to more than 30 markets around the world including China and the USA, successfully applied for a £30,000 grant from the LEP to invest in new machinery to expand production and develop innovative products.
Recycling machinery to up-skill the workforce
In particular, the grant has helped to purchase a state-of-the-art ‘vertical milling centre’, costing approximately £150,000, which is used to produce bespoke tool holders.
Its acquisition has freed up a lot of the older machinery, which is now being used to help train the Otley-based company’s current crop of 11 engineering apprenticeships.
Mr Thorburn said: “We’re incredibly grateful for the LEP grant, which has served as a catalyst for growth within our business.At a time when skilled engineers are in short supply, our apprenticeship programme is becoming increasingly important to our success.
“Now in its third year, we currently employ 11 apprentices, all of whom are learning the trade from scratch. By having the best equipment for them to learn on, we’re able to provide the bespoke training that is essential if we are to ensure we have the right skills in future years.
“Over the next year we expect to take on a further four employees, including three apprentices, as we grow the business both internally and externally, consolidating and enhancing our already strong market presence and reputation as a world leading producer of quality tool holders.”
Tackling skills shortages
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, added: “Craftsman Tools is a great example of well-run family business that’s making an invaluable contribution both to the economy and to the local community.
“Its apprenticeship programme is hugely admired, with the company helping to tackle the UK’s shortage of engineers, so we’re very proud to be able to support this business, and look forward to supporting others across the Leeds City Region.”