Anca, which is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, was struggling to recruit young engineers and tradespeople to join its team. With over 1,000 people around the world and a turnover of $250 million, searching for skilled people was becoming a major business issue.

In response, Anca decided to train its own, and in January 2011 established an apprenticeship programme which has been successfully training skilled technicians ever since. Set up by co-founder Pat McCluskey, the scheme has been designed to offer participants a range of technical training paths in CNC machining, machine building, fault finding and analytical skills, machine commissioning, and customer service. Anca currently has 15 apprentices and recently celebrated the graduation of four of these from the programme.

Of participating in the scheme, Shepley says: “I have worked in multiple parts of production, learnt different skills in different areas, and met heaps of great people. My proudest achievement over the time of my apprenticeship would probably be the first time I was sent overseas. I was sent to Weinheim, Germany for three months to support Anca’ German branch. It was a challenge working on some unfamiliar tasks but I learnt lots and was happy with the job I did.

“Now that I have finished my apprenticeship I want to continue working in areas of the business that will allow me to continue to learn as much as I can,” he continues. “I am currently working in the commissioning department, and I plan to start my advanced diploma in mechatronics at night school.”

Stuart Gurney, apprentice master, says: “Anca has a proud history of investing in its people to develop a highly skilled and engaged workforce. Apprentices get exposure to CNC machining, precision fitting, electrical testing and grinding applications throughout their four-year programme.

“My passion is supporting the next generation of talent to enter the fascinating world of CNC grinding,” he adds. “Far from just being a manufacturing company, we sell 99% of our product overseas and compete with German, Swiss, Japanese and US companies. It is very rewarding to see how much my team develops over the four years to graduate with a fantastic career ahead of them.”

Successful candidates start with 12 months of training in Anca’s Apprentice Training Facility under the supervision of Gurney. In the second year, participants have the chance to be part of a rotation programme through various aspects of the business to ensure they receive a comprehensive education and gain exposure to a range of divisions.