UK trailer manufacturer swaps apprentices with major customer

How about this for an interesting and smart idea. British trailer manufacturer, the Cartwright Group, has been swapping apprentices with one of its biggest customers, the Royal Mail, to provide greater insight into each of the individual operations.

Six vehicle technician apprentices from Royal Mail Fleet had the opportunity to tour Cartwright’s factory at Altrincham, Cheshire, to find out how the trailers they repair are designed and made.

They learned about every stage of the process, from initial design through to final paint-spraying, including Cartwright’s £1.8 million recently installed panel press, the paint shop and the freight and fabrications departments.

It was an enlightening experience as explained by Royal Mail Fleet’s 4th year Apprentice Vehicle Technician Daniel Carberry. He said: “Today really opened my eyes on the scale of Cartwright and how much work is actually involved in making our trailers. We’ve been really impressed by everything we’ve seen and have enjoyed seeing the bigger picture.”

In return, five Cartwright apprentices visited the Royal Mail Fleet’s workshop at Crick, Northamptonshire, to learn more about the important role trailers play in Royal Mail and Parcel Force Worldwide’s operations.

Mark Cartwright, Group Managing Director, said: “Apprentices play an important part in Cartwright’s day-to-day operations and it is vital that we support the next generation coming through to make the most of their talents and skills.

“Cartwright prides itself on innovation, as well as engineering excellence, and we encourage our apprentices to think about ways of improving operations and processes. Young people often have a fresh perspective and can be very creative.

“This was our first apprentice exchange and we look forward to hearing their views. It was a great success. The two teams worked well together, sharing ideas, and initial feedback has been extremely positive.”

Cartwright now has an intake of around 40 apprentices per year, with over 150 young people passing through the scheme since its inception in 2012.