Online Training Success for Composites Firm

07 January 2008

Broadwater Mouldings, near Eye in Suffolk, has become the first UK composites company to take part in a major new online training initiative for the industry.

Three Broadwater Mouldings employees have been awarded a Vocational Qualification in Composites Hand Wet Lay Up after successfully completing the web-based training course developed by Polymer Sector Developments (PSD).

Wayne Yallop, Matthew Williams and Carl Reddington undertook the training as part of Broadwater Mouldings’ commitment to help staff strengthen their knowledge and skills, and to promote best working practices.

Polymer Sector Developments (PSD) is the employer group formed with funding from the East Midlands Development Agency to promote and develop better training facilities for the polymer industry. The E-learning programmes enable polymer companies throughout the UK to access cost-effective online training for employees. Ten courses are currently in development covering composites, sign making, extrusion and blow moulding.

The PSD courses provide graphically-rich learning, available on-line at any time and separated into a number of individual modules that cover the same elements as those included in a standard National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). On completion of each module, candidates take a short multiple-choice test, which when passed, allows them to apply for a final on-line end of course test. Successful candidates receive a Vocational Qualification and can then gain a full NVQ by completing the practical elements of the qualification.

The three Broadwater Mouldings’ employees took part in the piloting of the E-learning facilities. For Wayne Yallop, a Team Leader in the Moulding Shop, the course has helped to underpin his practical experience and provided guidance for his role in training new members of staff.

Project Engineer Carl Reddington has gained a better understanding of wet composites processes, which enables him to identify a suitable manufacturing solution in the early design to manufacture process, while Matthew Williams, Process Control Manager whose background is in the automotive industry, has been able to increase his knowledge of composite technologies and the wet lay up process.

Broadwater Mouldings, part of the Betts Group, a long established and privately owned company based in Framlingham, Suffolk, manufactures high quality glass fibre reinforced plastic mouldings for a wide range of market sectors from automotive and medical to leisure and public transport. The company also designs and manufactures specialist Safeglide Spiral Chutes, an innovative materials handling product that has enjoyed worldwide success. Broadwater employs 70 people at its 75,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility at Horham, near Eye, Diss.

“Training is an important part of our company strategy and E-learning has proved to be a very effective way of helping our employees to gain qualifications certified by an accredited awarding body which they can immediately use to help them in their daily activities,” explains Matthew Herbert, Managing Director of Broadwater Mouldings.

“We are delighted to support and help to develop this important initiative from PSD, which demonstrates our ambition to encourage employee development by raising the level of understanding of our industry processes.”

The content for the PSD composites courses has been developed in association with Composites UK (formerly the Composites Processing Association).

“The PSD courses provide a valid qualification for the composites sector, which we fully support and endorse,” comments Chris Little Education Director of Composites UK. “We congratulate Broadwater Mouldings and its employees on their achievements.”

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