Apprentice Name: Matt Bingham, Production Engineering Manager
Employer Name: Titan Steel Wheels
Apprenticeship: Multi Skilled Engineering Apprenticeship
Matt Bingham left school at 16 years old with 10 GCSEs A-C and instinctively feeling that Sixth Form College wasn’t for him. Despite not knowing about engineering, Matt was offered an apprenticeship at Titan Steel Wheels through a family friend. He started this apprenticeship on a block release for 12 months at Kidderminster College studying City and Guilds 236 Part 1 electrical engineering (including domestic electrical skills) and an NVQ2 in Engineering which included learning skills such as turning, milling and welding.
Once he completed his qualification, Matt began full time in the Titan factory which he found the process of adapting from a college to a factory environment quite daunting. He found his learning curve steepened; working with 350 experienced staff, learning new skills and getting used to communicating with older people. Matt loved building his experience and learning from experienced colleagues. No two days were the same, utilizing a range of skills and levels of engineering from the traditional use of basic motors and welding to more modern CNC (computer numerical control) machine technology. Matt has now been with Titan Steel Wheels for over 24 years, having been promoted through the ranks from an Apprentice Maintenance Electrician, Team Leader and Supervisor. Titan went on to fund Matt’s Foundation Degree in Electronic Systems and Control with Coventry University then his Degree in Electrical Engineering Systems from Aston University (from which he graduated with First Class Honours. After this the company promoted him to his current role of Production Engineering Manager.
Matt’s long career history with Titan of over 24 years is a perfect example of the positive results for an employer when they value and invest in their employees’ education. The apprenticeship model is one that the company remains very committed to. Geographically, being based in Kidderminster, the company is located between areas with a strong heritage of automotive engineering from the Birmingham area and the highly skilled pressing expertise in Worcestershire. Because of this, Titan Steel Wheels strongly support in the apprenticeships scheme to grow their own talent and specialist skills that they require.
The company have developed a strong relationship with local training provider, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Group Training, putting through on average 3-4 apprentices every year. With the interest in engineering and STEM careers increasing, in recent years Titan have found their apprenticeship scheme so popular, it has been oversubscribed.
Matt himself continues to be passionate about bringing on young talent and promoting STEM careers that he is now an Enterprise Advisor for a local school. Matt’s advice to any young person starting out in their career is to explore all options before you decide on Sixth Form or university and he highly recommends apprenticeships where the training is completely paid for by the apprenticeship levy whilst the apprentice gains valuable qualifications and a salary.