Swann Host the Next Generation of Engineers

Swann Group Ltd is dedicated to developing the skills of the next generation of Engineers.

This is why we have created an extensive apprentice scheme, that will provide the foundation for the development and progression of future Engineers in the local area. This programme will complement our existing Institution of Civil Engineers’ Approved Graduate Training Scheme.

Our apprenticeship programme will be approximately two to three years long and will provide each student with the platform to develop into a well-rounded Engineer, with skills that are so desperately needed in UK based manufacturing.

To introduce our flagship programme, we held two insightful and engaging events where we welcomed over thirty Manufacturing & Engineering students from the Colchester Institute for a guided tour of our manufacturing headquarters in Braintree.

A Guided Tour

After a health and safety briefing, the visiting students were given a guided tour of the facility by our Production Director, Andy Gregory, followed by a company and programme overview delivered by our Associate Technical Director, Rich Holding.

The guided tour gave the visiting students the opportunity to see the manufacturing processes that take place on our site and to provide insight into the products and services that we provide to our customers.

The tour started with a walk through the yard which demonstrated the size and scale of our projects and provided a chance for the students to see up-close the final products on which they could work on throughout their apprenticeship at Swann.

The tour visited each stage of our manufacturing process, which highlighted to the students the wide and diverse range of engineering skills that are required to work on complex projects here at Swann.

Filling the Skill Gap

Andy Gregory hopes that our new initiative will help to fill the growing skill gap in Britain, as he discussed;

“In an ever-changing world where practical skills are being lost, Swann needs to be at the forefront of training and developing the engineers of the future. Britain as a whole has lost focus in bringing the new generations of young people into the exciting world of heavy engineering.

But that is about to change! At Swann, our mission is to develop and re-introduce lost skills into the workplace, encourage the new breed of engineers to embrace engineering and to hopefully build a career that will take them into the future as a leader and a highly skilled operative”.

Outlining the Programme

The Swann Group overview session provided the students with insight into how the Swann Group has evolved, the complex projects that we have undertaken and how the apprentices would potentially fit within the organisation, along with the extensive and wider opportunities that Swann can offer as a longer-term career.

The session progressed by detailing how the apprenticeship scheme will provide a platform to develop engineering skills, whilst gaining invaluable hands-on experience and earning an income!

The visit wrapped up with a question and answer session where all the visitors were invited to ask their own questions about Swann and the apprenticeship scheme as a whole.

The Future of Swann

Rich Holding explained how important our scheme is to the future of Swann and the Engineering sector as a whole;

At Swann, we are really excited and passionate about developing our employees, and see it as critical to the future growth of the company. It’s always rewarding to see and encourage engagement from such a youthful audience! Our apprentice programme will develop fantastically rounded manufacturing Engineers who will understand both design and fabrication”.

Meeting the Engineering Demands of the Future

The importance of our programme to the engineering sector was highlighted by Chris Dortel, a Lecturer & Course Tutor in Engineering at the Colchester Institute, who explained;

“The approach to teaching engineering technology subjects within the educational environment has changed massively over the years, as we have to keep up with the modern-day techniques and the changing requirements within the engineering industry.

So working closely with companies like Swann will benefit the Colchester Institute, as well as Swann, in securing the right calibre of personnel for engineering apprenticeship programmes.  

The importance of the industry means it is vital to develop a new generation of engineers. There will be challenging times ahead due to a decade of lack of investment within the engineering sector, as older engineers are retiring and not being replaced which means that their knowledge and skillsets retire as well. This trend, coupled with Brexit, might open up new and exciting market places within the engineering & manufacturing industries and increase production output to meet the demands of global needs”.


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