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Workers in a foundry casting a metal workpiece.

UK Foundries Sponsor Skills Training Program

Nov. 7, 2023
The Cast Metals Federation and ICME completed the first 18-month course developed to improve foundries’ competitiveness by enhancing trainees’ metallurgical understanding and abilities in the workplace.

The U.K.’s Cast Metals Federation has instituted a training program with ICME to expand the professional understanding and practical skills of foundry workers and to improve the competitiveness of foundries. The 18-month course recently completed training and certifying nine staffers from four British foundries and is recruiting a new cohort of trainees to begin another round of learning in March 2024.

The Cast Iron Production, Metallurgy and Quality Control course is ICME-approved, and the trainees are certified with ICME-accredited ‘Continuing Professional Development’ (CPD) hours.

“This course was developed in response to a clear need from industry for a practical program, focused on the metallurgy and production of the suite of cast irons,” explained Amy Worrallo, Training and Quality Manager for ICME. “It included modules on melting and shopfloor quality controls, raw material selection, metal treatments, as well as testing and quality assurance.”

“The results have been fantastic with many of the shopfloor improvement exercises delivering cost savings and efficiency gains, whilst several new processes have been introduced to rectify material failures and reduce defects,” according to CMF.

According to CMF, a trade association, the course combines classroom instructions, practical sessions, and workplace projects.

“The value of this course for our industry speaks for itself in the positive responses from all those involved and the fact that the costs of putting employees through it has already been recouped from bottom-line benefits,” according to Pam Murrell, CEO of the Cast Metals Federation.

“It’s been a real team effort, with input from the CMF, ICME, companies on their specific training needs, then from our tutors and some industry suppliers who have helped with technical content and delivering the program.

“The key to success has been the ‘in-company’ projects, which have ensured that the business get additional value from the course,” according to Murrell.

“Clearly the professional development of their teams and their ability to ‘problem solve’ and deal with process and quality improvements though their improved understanding of cast iron is important, and the face-to-face teaching and practical hands-on learning in the ECMS National Foundry Training Centre will have contributed hugely.”