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Apprentices support ventilator production

Fourteen apprentices from Keighley College have been assisting a local engineering company in the manufacturing of ventilator parts.

Shipley-based Produmax specialises in high precision engineering, operating globally in partnership with aerospace manufacturers. The firm typically produces machined components and assemblies. However, it has now begun manufacturing ventilator equipment due to the increased demand within the NHS.

As part of a longstanding partnership with Keighley College, students on engineering and business improvement courses can take part in apprenticeships at Produmax alongside their study. Many students have been on apprenticeships at the firm for over three years and the programme covers first, second and third year apprentices.

As a result of the recent rise in demand for ventilators, apprentices have been supporting the manufacturing of component parts, using advanced computer numerical control equipment and employing subtractive and additive machining techniques.

Ronnie Magee, deputy head of Keighley College, said: “It’s fantastic to see a local company supporting the NHS during these challenging times. Our apprentices are thrilled to be able to make a difference and assist with producing ventilator components. These apprenticeships are incredibly valuable for students, as they develop advanced practical skills while gaining great insight into a work environment.”

Paul Birtles, operations director at Produmax, added: “The apprentices have been a phenomenal help during these challenging times. It’s brilliant to see them involved in the whole process of the ventilator components, from using advanced equipment to quality checking. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see how much the students have developed since starting their apprenticeships and we’re committed to providing an enriching learning experience.” 

Over the past five weeks, Produmax has produced over 60,000 components for the Rolls Royce and Formula 1 consortium.

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