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Walker Filtration invests in talent to tackle the industry-wide skills gap

PUBLISHED Thursday, December 20 2018

Walker Filtration has welcomed two apprentices to its facility in Washington, Tyne and Wear, in a bid to tackle the national engineering skills shortage and help boost youth employment in the industry.

According to a recent report by Engineering UK, to close the ever-increasing skills gap in the engineering sector, the industry must focus on effectively harnessing the talent pool of young people. The UK needs 1.8 million new engineers and technicians by 2025 but the report reveals that only 39 per cent of 16 to 19-year olds would consider a career in engineering.

Holly Charlton-Rowell and Morgan Pearce joined Walker Filtration in October, after completing an engineering apprenticeship access programme with TDR Training over the summer. Both Holly and Morgan will spend four years with the business, while studying for a Level 3 Apprenticeship.

Holly, 18, who has joined Walker Filtration as a Design Engineer Apprentice, commented on her decision to go down the apprenticeship route: “I think there is still a lot of stigma surrounding apprenticeships, but I didn’t enjoy studying A Levels and this was absolutely the right path for me. I’ve always been interested in design and studying engineering has allowed me to put my passion into practice.”

Walker Filtration is a supporter of diversity in manufacturing and actively encourages the promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects to help inspire more individuals, both male and female, to consider careers in the industry.

Morgan, 17, who has joined Walker Filtration’s maintenance department, said: “When I joined a manufacturing business I was under the impression that this was a male-dominated industry, but this certainly isn’t the case at Walker Filtration where there is almost an equal split of male and female employees. The focus is on whether you are good at what you do, with gender being irrelevant. The team at Walker Filtration have made me feel really welcome and are encouraging my eagerness to learn.”

Julie Robinson, Operations Director at Walker Filtration, commented: “We are delighted to have Holly and Morgan onboard and look forward to welcoming a further two apprentices, Travis Smith and Jack Sutton, in the New Year. Walker Filtration recognise the value a diverse team can bring to our business and we believe strongly in investing in the talent of tomorrow and promoting equal opportunities.”

Walker Filtration have previously been involved in numerous schemes to help inspire a new generation into the industry, including the Education in Engineering Scheme. As part of the programme, the company provide projects that enable local students to gain hands-on work experience within engineering.

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Christmas Cheer for Charity at Walker Filtration

PUBLISHED Friday, December 14 2018

Walker Filtration’s UK Head Office once again donned their festive outfits for our annual charity Christmas Jumper Day.

A total of £1,684 was raised in aid of Cash for Kids, a charity which supports children who are disabled, disadvantaged or suffering from abuse or neglect. Grants awarded go towards buying specialist equipment for children to enhance their quality of life and are given to children’s charities and organisations to help them undertake projects and new initiatives.

This year, Walker Filtration have also donated funds to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, through our corporate charity Christmas cards.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Walker Filtration!

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Graduate Engineer welcomed back to Walker Filtration in permanent role

PUBLISHED Monday, November 5 2018

Walker Filtration have expanded our Technical Team in our UK headquarters, following the retention of Ryan Jefferson, who recently completed our graduate development scheme. The two-year programme provides the opportunity for graduates to rotate through departments and acquire a range of skills and experience. Ryan joined the company in December 2016 and on completion of the scheme in October 2018, Walker Filtration were thrilled to offer him a permanent position in the team as a Design Engineer.

This week, we caught up with Ryan to find out about his experience of the programme.

What does your new role entail?

As a Design Engineer, I design parts for manufacture, create engineering drawings, perform calculations to prove the integrity of parts and give support to the shop floor with regards to BOM’s and product queries.

What has been the most exciting project that you’ve worked on during the graduate scheme?

I was very lucky to have worked on a variety of projects within the graduate scheme. The most exciting project involved designing new components to expand the PRO XF filter range; this was my first real design project within the organisation and it allowed me to apply my knowledge of design to create initial ideas, approve the design, and ultimately create the part.

What have been the main challenges of completing the graduate scheme?

Having to go into all the key departments in the organisation was a challenge, as it put me into departments where I had no previous experience. I had to quickly pick up what the department’s key input was to the business and assist them in achieving their objectives. The three-month placements usually consisted of a main project that the department leader had set, as well as helping with the day to day actions of the department.

How did you decide which department was the right one for you at the end of the scheme?

Due to previous experience, I knew that design was something that I wanted to do and at the end of the programme I was offered a role in the design department, which I jumped at the chance to take. The team made me feel extremely welcome and I was thrilled that the department felt I would be a good addition to the team.

What are the most valuable skills you’ve gained during the graduate scheme?

Working in various departments quickly provided me with a holistic view of the business. This has been invaluable when communicating with colleagues, as I now know exactly where to go to find out information, having been on the opposite side of the question I am asking.

What advice would you give to future graduates?

I think it’s important to move through all the departments with an open mind and ask always questions. The rotations will provide you with a unique experience of the business and it’s an opportunity to be grabbed with both hands.

Interested in finding out more about our graduate scheme? Contact hr@walkerfiltration.com to find out more about our current and upcoming opportunities.

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Walker Filtration Bake Their Way to Fundraising Success!

PUBLISHED Thursday, October 4 2018

Walker Filtration were thrilled to once again participate in Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’.  On Monday 1st October 2018 staff at our Head Office in Washington, Tyne and Wear, donated cakes for a coffee morning bake sale and participated in games and competitions to help raise money for the for the UK based charity - which offers support to individuals and families affected by cancer.

The company are proud to announce the total amount of funds raised is£600

All the money raised will go directly to Macmillan Cancer Support and help those affected. Walker Filtration would like to thank their staff for participating wholeheartedly in helping such a fantastic and worthwhile cause.

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Walker Filtration Shortlisted For 2018 ‘Made in the North East Awards’

PUBLISHED Thursday, September 20 2018

Walker Filtration are pleased to announce that our UK Head Office has once again been shortlisted at this year’s ‘Made in the North East’ Awards, receiving nominations for both the ‘Export Award’ and ‘Large Manufacturing Company of the Year’.

These respected awards recognise and reward excellence in the North East of England’s manufacturing sector and showcase the success of innovative and forward-thinking businesses across the region.

Established in the North East of England in 1983, this year marks Walker Filtrations 35th anniversary and 35 years of manufacturing in the region. With our Head Office based in Washington, Tyne and Wear, we are incredibly proud to be shortlisted for awards that support and celebrate manufacturing in the North East.

The winners will be announced on the 18th October 2018 at an awards dinner which is to be held at the Redworth Hall Hotel in Newton Aycliffe.

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Walker Filtration Staff Participate In Great North Run

PUBLISHED Friday, September 14 2018

Walker Filtration would like to congratulate several of our staff members that took part in this year’s Great North Run on Sunday 9th September.

Collectively they ran 65.5 miles (105.4km) and between them raised over £1,100 for charities including Prostate Cancer UK, Mind – The Mental Health Charity, and 4x4 Response UK. 

Over 43,000 people took part in the 13.1-mile event, which stretches from Newcastle to South Shields, in the North East of England.

Well done on this fantastic achievement!

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Walker Filtration’s Group General Manager, Lianne Walker MBE (MBA), Asked to Speak for the Entrepreneurs’ Forum and Shortlisted for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year' Award

PUBLISHED Friday, July 20 2018

The entrepreneurial spirit of Lianne Walker was noted by the distinguished Entrepreneurs’ Forum – an organization for business owners and entrepreneurs based within the North East of England, who proceeded to invite Lianne to speak at a member event.

The event took place on the 13th of June, with a strong turnout comprised of other business leaders in the North East of England, as Lianne shared her experiences of strong focus on innovation, how the right attitude, tenacity and mind-set as a leader can help to shape how your business grows.

Lianne Walker was appointed Group General Manager of Walker Filtration in 2005 and within three years awarded an MBE for Services to Manufacturing and International Trade.

Lianne has also been shortlisted by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum for the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ alongside two other renowned entrepreneurs within the North East of England; Stewart Grierson (UpNorth Engineering Services) and Lee Hartley (Fairstone group).

We would like to congratulate Lianne and her fellow nominees on their nomination and wish everyone the best of luck at the award ceremony on the 28th September 2018.

 

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Walker Filtration Hosts ISO TC118/SC4/WG1 and Pneurop PN14 Compressed Air Standards Development Committees

PUBLISHED Friday, May 11 2018

On the 8th and 9th of May Walker Filtration played host to the ISO TC118/SC4/WG1 (Compressed Air Purity and Treatment Equipment) and Pneurop PN14 (Air Treatment) standards development committees. The meeting brought together experts from across the compressed air industry to develop new and advance existing ISO standards – which define compressed air purity and the measurement methodologies used to determine contaminants present in compressed air.

The two-day event took place at Walker Filtration’s UK Head Office in Washington, Tyne and Wear, with participating members, each an expert in their respective field and representing their national standards body, attending from Japan, Belgium, Germany, Slovenia and the UK.

Walker Filtration is privileged to host such a diverse and respected group of individuals. As active members of the working group committees, Walker Filtration is dedicated to developing industry best practice and committed to delivering high quality, safe and reliable products which comply with global industry standards of performance.

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Walker Filtration Student Chemist Flourishes During University Placement

PUBLISHED Thursday, April 12 2018

In September Walker Filtration welcomed Leeds University Chemistry student, Thomas Brown, to our Head Office in Washington, Tyne and Wear to complete a one-year industry placement. Thomas’ placement is within the technical department, working on several projects which involve various areas of the business. As Thomas approaches the last quarter of his placement, we caught up with him to discuss his progress.

‘I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Walker Filtration, it has been invaluable to put into practise the theory based learning I have acquired from university. The company has allowed me to work with other teams outside of the technical department on cross functional tasks, as well as leading my own project on microfibre technologies and the chemistry involved in filtration media. I was delighted to contribute to the research and development of one of the core components of Walker Filtration’s product base, and feel that I have made a real impact within the company.”

“I felt the Walker Filtration ‘family’ culture as soon as I arrived on my first day. As there is a graduate scheme here, it was great to connect with people of a similar age and to help me settle in. Throughout the business, help is always available if needed, and I have regular meeting updates with my senior co-workers who aid in keeping my projects focused and provide support to ensure I can produce successful conclusive results. After university I would like to complete my Master’s Degree in Chemistry and either take up a graduate position in a Research and Development role, or quite possibly a PhD in Chemistry.”

Group General Manager, Lianne Walker MBE (MBA), commented “Thomas is testament to how valuable it is to integrate work placements into university studies. He has developed his skillset and has been a real asset to the company, bringing in fresh ideas and theory to the technical department. I know he’ll be successful as he returns to university to complete his degree and as he begins his professional career.”

Walker Filtration would like to wish Thomas the very best of luck in the success of his placement year, university studies and future career.

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Walker Filtration Celebrates 15 Years of BCAS Membership

PUBLISHED Wednesday, April 11 2018

Walker Filtration were pleased to collect our British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) Continuous Membership Award yesterday, marking 15 years of membership. The award reflects our commitment to excellence and the position we hold as a center for design, manufacture, export and distribution within the industry.The British Compressed Air Society is the only UK technical trade association open to manufacturers, distributors and end users of compressors, vacuum pumps, pneumatic tools and allied products. This fantastic partnership offers unbiased advice on compressed air and vacuum legislation, technical standards, education, compliance, safety and matters. Walker Filtration look forward to many more succesful years as BCAS members.

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Storm Emma Causes Disruption

PUBLISHED Friday, March 2 2018

Due to adverse weather conditions affecting many areas of the UK, there has been some disruptions to service and deliveries.

Our teams at Walker Filtration are making every effort to ensure your normal service level is maintained as quickly as possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause our valued customers, please contact your Account Manager if you have questions or queries.

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Walker Filtration Announce New Owners

PUBLISHED Thursday, March 1 2018

We are pleased to announce that on March 1st, 2018, the Atlas Copco Group signed a contract with the Walker Family for the acquisition of the Walker Filtration Group. Walker Filtration will continue to act as a separate and independent business within the Atlas Copco family of companies as part of the Medical Gas division, there are no planned changes in trading details.

Together with our new shareholders we have a single vision, to continue to focus on our valued customers and ensure that we provide world class filtration products on a global scale.   Our aim is to remain at the forefront of the industry and the new Group will allow us to invest further in developing technologies, process and engineering solutions to assure you of optimal performance.

We look forward to taking advantage of the opportunities for growth available to us. This new partnership will enable us to take our next step in operational excellence. 

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Walker Filtration welcomes Newcastle High School for Girls students as part of the Engineering Education Scheme

PUBLISHED Friday, January 12 2018

In 2017, Walker Filtration partnered with a team of students from Newcastle High School for Girls to participate in a six-month project investigating an alternative and more efficient means of bonding pleated filtration materials as part of the EES (Engineering Education Scheme). 

Walker Filtration are proud members of the EES, a fantastic association which encourages and support students who wish to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.  

The team of four students attended an all-day workshop event to conduct a series of experimental trials which helped generate samples that the students will further test at a residential trip to Teesside University this month. This work allowed these students to work alongside engineers from Walker Filtration and gain valuable experience and knowledge while working on a real-world engineering project. 

Supporting local manufacturing growth is particularly important to Walker Filtration Ltd due to their heritage being rooted in the North East of England. Group Managing Director Lianne Walker MBE (MBA) commented “It’s a privilege to welcome the future engineering talent of the North East into our production site. We are more than happy to aid development and growth of young people in our region and look forward to seeing the end result of the girls’ project.”

Walker Filtration would like to wish the group every success in their futures in pursuing a career in the STEM sector.

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Summer Internship participant welcomed back to Walker Filtration in Graduate Role

PUBLISHED Wednesday, January 3 2018

This summer Walker Filtration welcomed three graduates to the business as part of a three-month internship programme at our Washington, UK Head Office. Carla Lipari, Human Resources intern, proved herself to be such an asset to the team that she returned to the Company two weeks after finishing her internship in her new role as HR Generalist on a twelve-month Graduate programme.

Three months on we caught up with Carla to see how she is finding her new role at Walker Filtration:

Carla, who has recently completed her Masters (MA) in Human Resource Management at Newcastle University and has also achieved her professional HR qualification; CIPD Level 7 said:

“Internships and placements are invaluable to new graduates entering the job market, they give the opportunity to gain experience and provide an insight into the workplace. During my internship at Walker Filtration I gained this and much more: it wasn’t just a general insight, but a full immersion in a new job. I was involved with the day to day work straight away and tasked with improving and mapping the Company’s HR process. With the support of the HR team I was able to put academic theory learned at university into practice; fulfilling my hunger for learning and building upon my knowledge.”

“At the end of my internship Walker Filtration gave me the opportunity to make a difference in the long term, developing my skills as part of the graduate scheme and empowering me in a real HR Generalist role. I am thankful to be part of a such an engaging and friendly company where collaboration, honesty, trust and enthusiasm are part of the organisational culture. I still have a lot to learn and a lot to give, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience - I feel Walker Filtration is the right place to launch my career in HR.”

Group Managing Director, Lianne Walker MBE (MBA), commented: “We are excited to have Carla join the team on a more permanent basis and I am sure she will enjoy every success in her new role. At Walker Filtration, we pride ourselves on welcoming new talent and recognise the importance of rewarding success. Internships and graduate placements are hugely important to us and are pivotal to fuelling our talent pipeline as we grow the business.”

Walker Filtration are passionate about developing young people to create strong pillars for future growth in not only their Head Office but also on a global scale. The business continues to celebrate their success and go from strength to strength.

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