Business Development Director goes ‘Back to the Floor’ at Adelphi

20 March 2017
As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2017, The Adelphi Group invited Andy Forbes, Executive Director for Business Development at Central Sussex College, ‘Back to the Floor’ to meet their three apprentices and see first-hand what impact they were having on the business’ success.

The Adelphi Group of Companies is comprised of four divisions, all based in a modern, purpose built facility in Haywards Heath with a combined turnover of almost £15m.They produce processing equipment, packaging machinery, laboratory equipment and healthcare packaging. The company are able to trace their roots all the way back to 10th May 1947.

Employing apprentices wasn’t something the company had considered until a few years ago, when they realised that they needed to develop the skills and talent of their future workforce as the business grew and diversified.

Dean Willis, Sales Director at Adelphi explained “Apprentices are an essential part of the company’s workforce moving forward, as the sector we are in relies on design and innovation to ensure our products are market leaders.

The talent, ideas and current knowledge that apprentices bring to the business is refreshing and make those who’ve been around for a while consider new and different ways to develop and produce our product lines. We’ve seen an immediate impact from the three apprentices we’re currently employing in our workshop, warehouse and weld shop. As a company we’re not afraid of taking on their new ideas, even though they are still training in their individual roles.”

Harry Phelps, aged 20 from Crawley, gained national recognition for his contribution to Adelphi’s business when he won Apprentice of the Year for the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association Group Awards in 2015. Harry, who has now completed his Level 3 Apprenticeship, said “My Apprenticeship at Adelphi has been great. I’ve now been trained as an engineer by experts, have no university debt and have gained so much hands-on experience. On top of all that, I’ve had the chance to work on some really exciting engineering projects that I’d have never had the opportunity to be involved in if I hadn’t followed the Apprenticeship route.”

Once Jordan Toogood, aged 19 from East Grinstead had completed his Level 2 full time course in Welding at Central Sussex College, he took part in a ‘speed meet’ where the college matches students with potential employers. Adelphi spotted Jordan and now he’s employed as a welding apprentice. Jordan explained “I’ve grown up in an engineering environment so understood how interesting and exciting a career in welding and engineering could be. All through my studies at college and since I’ve become an apprentice at Adelphi, I’ve been impressed with the people who are helping me learn my trade. They are passing on their years of experience from working in the industry and it’s helping me become a really competent welder.”

Working in the warehouse and stores, no day is the same for Alex Vannon who deals with the delivery, storage and shipping of Adelphi’s wide range of products and machinery. As a warehouse and storage apprentice he’s learning how to manage the logistics of storing and transporting anything from delicate miniature glass vials to 2.5 tonne machinery destine for overseas export. Alex explained “Like everyone else I had a vision of what an engineering business warehouse might be like, cold, dark and old fashion, but I was very wrong as I work in a modern building and use a number of technological systems to monitor and track goods. This is essential when you are asked to pull 5000 components out of stores for the engineers to build one of our machines!”