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East Anglia Future 50

Developing manufacturing skills in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 15:55 31 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 31 December 2018

Apprentices at Hatcher Components, Framlingham
Lukas Porter, with Neil Smith and Ashley Wright

Apprentices at Hatcher Components, Framlingham Lukas Porter, with Neil Smith and Ashley Wright Picture: RICHARD LAWRENCE


Not everyone gets the chance to assist in the development of a prototype truck.

But two Suffolk youngsters have through the Workplace Apprenticeship and internal development programme with vehicle aerodynamic specialists Hatcher Components.

Lukas Porter,21, and Ashley Wright,24, both from Framlingham, joined Hatcher via the scheme.

Lukas Porter has achieved a level 3 engineering diploma at Suffolk University College,

While Ashley Wright has completed a GRP apprenticeship – something developed by the company itself.

Both felt experience gained in a working environment helped with their completion of course work.

Hatcher’s Neil Smith says school leavers shouldn’t overlook what the Workplace Apprenticeship Programme offers.

He said: “The chance to work on an exciting project like this is something you can only get in a work-placed environment. The skills both have gained will be with them for life.”

Framlingham-based Hatcher Components employs more than 80 on its two sites, at Parham and Framlingham and tries to take on a new apprentice each year.

To mark their achievements Hatcher presented both of these apprentices with gifts in recognition of their effort.

Neil Smith said: “Despite the advances in technology people skills are still as important as ever. For a company like ours where we are taking products through concept, design and tooling we need the creativity and flair that people possess. Lukas and Ashley will be instrumental is helping us deliver truck fuel saving technology for the future,” adds Neil.

Hatcher will soon be looking for the next generation of recruits. The company hopes to offer a new apprenticeship place next year and also will be taking two Thomas Mills pupils on a two week work experience placement in May.

The company will announce details of apprenticeship availability in April next year.

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