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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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