Leussink Engineering has increased the annual uptake of apprentices at its manufacturing facility in the NSW industrial region of Illawarra.
Leussink Engineering has been training apprentices on its production floor for over 28 years, taking on an average, eight apprentices each year. This year however, the company has increased the uptake to 14 apprentices.
This progressive engineering company believes that in-house training opens even greater market opportunities in mining, rail, construction, shipbuilding, energy, materials handling, transport and general manufacturing.
Leussink Engineering has already demonstrated that a highly technical in-house team opens up avenues for import replacement deals with large companies desperate for fast turnaround on time-critical jobs and component emergencies.
Director of the company, Mr Jason Leussink strongly believes that the platform based on the strength of skilled apprentices has protected Leussink’s markets through indifferent times, and now sees it expanding into new markets as a provider to some of the biggest companies in industrial Australia.
According to Mr Leussink, each year sees a group of fresh youngsters who learn new manual skills from ground level before moving onto CNC training. This year’s group of 14 apprentices forms a high percentage in a workforce of 45 employees.
Leussink Engineering has even appointed a dedicated trainer for the apprentices. Training is intense since most of the company’s equipment is CNC rather than manual.
Leussink Engineering focusses on delivering in small batch quantities, sometimes as small as a single item for one order. Where the company claims to have a market distinction is in skilfull and profitable production of once-off single items on CNC technology normally used for mass production.
Attention to scheduling and inventory combined with highly trained CNC-savvy apprentices ensures these cost effective tiny runs work for its clients, both in terms of price and quality.
Explaining the process of apprentice selection, which has been refined over time, Mr Leussink says that after the first screening, the Morrisby testing is conducted to gauge each individual's capabilities and determine whether the applicant will be attuned enough to get through the trade.
Leussink Engineering has been able to retain about 90% of their trained apprentices. With the company investing in more sophisticated CNC machinery, new people are being hired to operate them while in-house trained personnel will be moved up the ladder for upskilling, allowing fresh groups of apprentices to come through the system.