Wallace Sheet Metals


UK workforce: 7 employees

A family run micro employer business in West Cumbria providing quality craftsmanship fabrications and installation.

The challenge
WSF Ltd has only taken on 1 apprentice previously, several years ago.  The support provided by the Community Apprenticeship Scheme (CAS) run by the NSA Nuclear has enabled WSF Ltd to take on an additional apprentice at their Fabrication works based in Wigton, Cumbria.
Kevin Wallace, Director  “The Skills Academy suggested we work with GENII as a local QA Provider, to deliver an assessor led apprenticeship so that we could have the an apprentice based in our workplace 4 days a week, and 1 day based at College to develop the technical aspects of the apprenticeship to support the vocational work placed learning. We also wanted a local person who could fit into our team and show a real commitment to putting in some hard effort and graft to learn new skills.”
The business results
Kevin Wallace: “It’s meant a lot of hard work and effort from my team to support and mentor Liam over the last 18 months.  Over this time Liam has more than matched this by completing his Intermediate Apprenticeship qualification within 12 months and is utilising the basic skills gained so far to be part of the team and help produce high quality fabrication production that are key to our continued success with our clients.  Completing his Advanced Apprenticeship is Liam’s next big challenge.  Part of this will be to use the knowledge and he is gaining every day to work as part of our high quality team.  The crucial step now is for Liam is to get a good understanding of the ‘Geometry of Sheetmetal Work’ and how pattern development is used to ensure items are formed into finished products.  This helps to provide a quality product first time.  “In two to three years’ time, I expect Liam will have the Sheetmetal working skills to work competently alongside our existing experienced staff.”
Skills growth
Roland Fletcher (NSA Nuclear, Apprenticeship and Cumbria Regional Manager): “It’s fantastic to see Liam progressing so well and enjoying his work at WSF Ltd.  We need to encourage more young people like Liam who are keen and eager to learn new skills and a trade for our future.  I’m really encouraged by Liam’s attitude towards his work and colleagues and I’ve every confidence he will complete his advanced apprenticeship and go on to become an experienced Sheetmetal Worker.”
The Apprentice Perspective “I’m learning new skills every day and getting involved in new jobs every week.”
Liam Norris: “All the Team has helped me since I started my apprenticeship.  I’m being mentoring on daily basis which is helping me to learn the skills and knowledge I need to become an experienced Sheetmetal worker.  Kevin Wallace is also giving me extra support on welding techniques so I can get more experience on welding different types of materials.”
“Now that I’m doing my Advanced Apprenticeship, I’m getting involved in real jobs; helping to fabricate stainless steel transfer trays for NNL Ltd., fabricating pipework for 1st Milk and ducting for Pirelli recently”
“I much prefer my apprenticeship than being at School.  School was all about theory and now with my apprenticeship I’m learning skills and making something each day.  I still go to College one day per week and the theory is aimed at the work I’m doing so it’s much more interesting and easier to remember.”