Hartlepool-based expanded metal mesh specialist The Expanded Metal Company has invested in its future workforce by taking on four new apprentices.

Michael Snowdon, Kalem Ainsley and Rhys Edwards from Hartlepool have joined The Expanded Metal Company as apprentice machine setters and will support in the manufacture of metal meshes for use across a wide range of applications and sectors.

In addition, Hartlepool-born Max Tennant has been appointed as a Tool Room Apprentice. In his role, Max will gain a variety of skills in tool manufacturing, maintenance, development and testing activities.

The apprentices are working towards industry standard qualifications including BTEC National Diploma, PEO Level 2, Functional skills ICT, Employment Rights and Responsibilities and NVQ Level 3 at The Technical Academy at East Durham College.

Their apprenticeship programme will help Michael, Kalem, Rhys and Max gain hands-on skills at The Expanded Metal Company’s 25,000 sqm site in Hartlepool, and this will be combined with classroom-based learning.

Commenting on his apprenticeship, Rhys Edwards, said: “Joining The Expanded Metal Company as an apprentice is a fantastic opportunity for me to develop new skills in machine setting. I had already heard a lot about the company prior to starting my apprenticeship , as my great grandad worked here for many years and later became a workshop foreman – I hope to progress in my role the way my granddad did.”

Michael Snowdon said: “The Expanded Metal Company has been established in my hometown for more than 125 years and I wanted the opportunity to become a part of its legacy, and build an exciting career for myself, with the prospect of working through the ranks.”

Kalem Ainsley, added: “I have always been keen on joining an engineering and manufacturing company. After speaking with members of the management team at The Expanded Metal Company, I gained an insight into the company’s operations and the opportunities for me to progress into senior positions, which I hope to pursue in the future.”

Max Tennant, commented: “The apprenticeship allows me to gain hands-on experience and learn about all aspects of the job, which I really enjoy and find beneficial for my future career. It’s also great to work for a local company with a great history.”

Commenting on the apprenticeship programme, Philip Astley, managing director of The Expanded Metal Company, said: “As a company, we are proud to play a part in helping to close the engineering skills gap and in supporting young people in developing specialist skills. We have a wealth of expertise in expanded metal mesh manufacturing and fabrication here at our site in Hartlepool – and it’s fantastic that through our apprenticeship programme, young people from the area can tap into this.

“Apprentices such as Max, Michael, Rhys and Kalem are the future of our company and nurturing the next generation of engineers is vital as the company continues to expand. We’re looking forward to helping them progress in their careers.”

The Expanded Metal Company supplies high quality expanded metal mesh products for sectors including construction, filtration, engineering, transport, utilities, automotive, aerospace and architecture. It also serves the security sector and has its own security range, ExMesh™, which offers a wide range of innovative fencing systems and security solutions.

The Expanded Metal Company has a rich industrial heritage dating back to 1889 and was founded by John French Golding, the inventor and patentee of expanded metal.

The firm works closely with contractors and end users to create bespoke solutions for their projects, drawing on its extensive design and manufacturing expertise, and high-class production capabilities.

It stocks and supplies a wide range of high quality expanded metal mesh products and offers specialist capabilities in metal work, such as cutting, welding, drilling, punching, shearing and roll forming.

The firm was previously part of the Expamet group of companies.

For more information visit www.expandedmetalcompany.co.uk and www.exmeshsecurity.co.uk