September 18, 2020 @ 9:16 by Steven Hugill
An historic bridge builder has launched a fresh skills drive.
Cleveland Bridge UK says its talent development programme will support national growth plans by ushering in its next generation of engineers and leaders.
Bosses at the Darlington-based structural steel engineering company say the scheme includes training events, documented development plans and programmes for apprentices and graduates.
Under the programme, employees are encouraged to discuss career goals and ambitions with managers, who formulate plans to assist staff achieve their full potential.
The company, which already has a policy to promote from within, has signed up 47 employees onto talent or development programmes, and launched a specific platform for shop-floor operators to develop charge hands, supervisors and managers.
Several of its apprentices, who have completed their training, have already been promoted, with each of them having passed their Functional Skills Level 2 English and maths exams.
Matty Foster, 26, from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, joined Cleveland Bridge as an apprentice plater in 2012 and completed his apprenticeship in 2016, before being promoted to charge hand.
After starting a Level 3 apprenticeship in team leading/supervision with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – through training provider B-Skill – last year, he was promoted to fabrication supervisor and is now responsible for more than 50 staff.
Thomas Hill, 21, from Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, joined the company in 2015 as an apprentice draughtsperson, and subsequently secured a position as a draftsman before being promoted to his current role of trainee project manager.
He completed an HNC in civil engineering – sponsored by Cleveland Bridge – and is now doing a civil engineering degree apprenticeship Level 6 through Teesside University.
Chris Droogan, Cleveland Bridge UK managing director, said: “Skill development and career advancement are essential for all our employees.
“In order for the right talent to be attracted and retained, we must demonstrate we offer a career path that provides the opportunities necessary for progression.
“Through the talent programme, we provide the tools for employees to advance their skills, competencies and overall careers.
“Having the right talent and expertise drives competitive advantage to maintain our global reputation and position at the forefront of our industry.”
Since its inception, Cleveland Bridge has built some of the world’s most iconic structures.
The group was involved in erecting the Victoria Falls Bridge and in 1911 designed Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge.
More recently, it supplied bridges for the widening of the A1 in North Yorkshire and jungle and rural crossings in Sri Lanka, and earlier this year revealed it was supporting a project to revitalise Nottingham’s Trent Bridge.
Further projects have included supporting the £79 million widening of the A13 in Essex and work on a new road bridge over the River Severn in Worcester.