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  • Writer's pictureSCH Site Services

The new generation - Mario Silva

SCH have been introducing a new generation into their workforce to battle the conflict of age within the industry.

Trainees are brought into the workforce, in a junior position, to undergo training for a role. The steel industry is becoming a popular sector for trainee positions, due to the direct experience and work that is required.

Recently, SCH have taken on 3 new trainees in welding, fabrication and steel erecting. The lads are slotting into the team, finding their positions, and learning from those around them.

We interviewed one of SCH’s new trainees. Mario Silva, who is 22, is on a six month trainee scheme with SCH. We managed to pull this hard worker from his station to ask him a few questions about the start of his traineeship. Mario has currently been working at SCH for a month now, with 5 months left of his initial training. We wanted to know more about how his first month has been.

What is your official role?

“I am an on-site trainee fabricator and welder, but I’m currently working in the factory getting used to how things are done here. My daily responsibilities consist of grinding, oxy and propane fuel cutting, fabricating and welding steel work for current projects. It's great to see how each steel member is put together from the fabrication drawings ready to be installed at site by our guys.”

Is it what you expected it to be?

“Before this, I had worked at another steel fabrication company, so I knew what to expect. I had experience coming into this, however the role in SCH is different to what I was doing before. I was familiar with working on a shop floor, so I knew what was expected of me. However, at SCH I’m now working on-site which is completely new to me.

There’s a lot more thought and creativity as you have to think on your feet. Most of the work on site will be at height so there is a much bigger element of planning and safety involved.”

I didn’t know what to expect from working on-site. I love how I get to work with a large team, we can all support each other and any job that I am unable to do yet can be passed along. The team are great, and supportive, which can make any job easier. They make it feel laid-back, but also critical. We can have a good laugh, but we all crack on, you know?“

What’s your favourite part of your role?

“I actually find the welding therapeutic, which may be seen as weird. It’s fun to do, it’s exciting as you’re being precise and making something new. I work on all size projects, like I’m currently working on the steel work for the Darlington Heritage project, so knowing that the steel which is in my hands is being to become part of a big and important build is special.”

What’s your least favourite part of the role?

“Getting dirty, I knew on my first day that it wouldn’t be a clean job. You get very dirty, very quickly. That’s the only real thing I can think of, it’s a great job.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in the industry?

“This isn’t about the steel industry specifically. But the biggest lesson I have learnt so far is you must enjoy what you do. You must enjoy the work you do, or you’ll start to hate waking up on a Monday. I love what I do and the industry I’m in.”

How did you find this role at SCH?

“I got an email through from an job advertising website and in the title, it said they were looking for someone to work on-site, and that’s a skill I knew I was missing and couldn’t find in my current place of work. I was interested in upskilling, so I got in touch, sent over my CV. We later discussed the role and what I would be doing."

How do you see your progression in the next six months?

“By this time, I will hopefully be out of my training period, so I can start to learn other skills on the floor, further than plating and welding. There is a lot of training to complete but first I will need to pass my IPAF so I can use a MEWP (mobile elevated working platform), I need to gain my CSCS card to gain access to the sites and I would like to have my NVQ in Steel Erection to go alongside my NVQ in Welding and Fabricating.

Looking further forward, I would like to progress to a managerial role, and maybe start training for my NVQ in management. I used to train people in my other place, I would love to do that here. I need to learn more about the company and processes here, then I would feel comfortable to start showing people the ropes.

I always think ‘the more skills under your belt, the better’ so I’ll keep looking for more opportunities whether that’s in the shop here or on-site doing erection.

SCH allows for progression and encourages it within its workforce, which is great. They really look after their workforce. “

We enjoyed learning the industry from fresh eyes. We are excited to follow up with Mario in six months and see his progression.

We will also be speaking to two more of SCH’s trainees and learn more about their role and how they are flourishing at SCH Site Services.

Follow along on the ‘News’ on SCH’s site or on their social media channels.


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