The castings industry is a varied and dynamic industry and there are opportunities at all levels in the industry, whether you are a school leaver or looking for a change later in life. The industry is always looking for enthusiastic individuals with a range of skills and qualifications seeking a challenging career. Training is also available at all levels.
The industry is growing internationally and there are opportunities around the UK and further afield. Castings are used in all areas in our modern world (cars, planes, defence and power generation to name but a few) and the industry is changing to reflect this increasing demand for engineered components.
Here is a quote about foundrymen and what they do:
"Ask a Foundryman what he does, and he might humbly say that he "melts metal and pours it into a mould to make a casting."
"He might not admit that:
I am feeding and clothing the people of the world. I am purifying and transporting the water Man drinks. I am digging the world's coal and drilling its oil. I am building thousands of miles of highway and railroad and the trains, trucks and cars that travel them. I make the aeroplanes that fly though the air and the ships that ply the seven seas. I sadly admit that I make the implements of war with which he attempts to destroy his kind.
Products of my foundry are in the hospital delivery room, where Man is born, in his home and at his work bench while he lives, in the mortuary when he dies. Throughout his life I have bettered his standard of living to a point that Man now lives in a splendour undreamt of in times past. I have put men in orbit around the Earth and sent Man safely to the moon and back. In the process I have made a positive impact on the world's environment by recycling Man's waste and transforming it into useful products.
It is no wonder that I love to be a foundryman!
I am proud to be a foundryman!"
(Taken from the prologue to the 62nd Indian Foundry Congress 2014.)
Jobs in the industry range from manufacturing operators, highly skilled moulders or patternmakers, quality technicians metallurgists, methods engineers, mechanical and production engineers, as well as supervisors, managers and research scientists. There is also demand for skills in sales and marketing.
Joining the industry at 16 – you can join the castings industry straight from school. Apprenticeships are available in many areas of the country and you get paid while you are training. You will gain NVQ level 2 qualifications as part of your apprenticeship.
There are jobs that involve making sand moulds for casting, melting and pouring metal using highly automated equipment, laboratory work, designing castings using computers and finishing castings.
Once you have finished your apprenticeship you can progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship to become a technician or supervisor in the industry and then or go on to further technical or managerial qualifications.
For more information about apprenticeships in the casting industry please contact the SEMTA Apprenticeship Service or contact ICME for advice about your local foundry.
Joining at 18 – Advanced apprenticeships are available for those joining with A levels, or the equivalent, at 18 years of age. Opportunities exist in a range of areas including patternmaking, casting technician or moulding and coremaking. You will be paid while you train and have the opportunity to gain Level 3 NVQ qualifications and an engineering diploma as well as valuable work experience and could become a professionally qualified engineer as an Engineering Technician (EngTech).
You can then become a technician or supervisor in the industry or go on to specialise in a technical area such as quality, metallurgy, quality, production, technical sales or customer care and study for higher management or technical positions.
Part time Foundation Degrees are also available in a number or areas including Casting Technology, Metallurgy and many more and these provide a stepping stone to a full Bachelors Degree and ultimately recognition as a professionally qualified engineer, an Incorporated Engineer.
For more help:
Contact Metskill Academy (www.metskill.co.uk) for information about advanced apprenticeships in the industry.
Other useful links:
www.enginuity.org.uk - careers in engineering
www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk – what is engineering and what do engineers do?
www.eng.org.uk - for information about getting professional qualifications, Eng Tech or Incorporated Engineer
Got a degree and looking for a career in engineering or manufacturing? – Joining the castings industry with a degree in a technical or engineering subject will give you the opportunity to enter a profession that is challenging and dynamic and where there is a shortage of highly skilled professionals. With enthusiasm and drive you will be able to make your mark.
There are opportunities to develop casting knowledge and skills while you work through short courses and professional development programmes so that you can become a production or quality engineer, design engineer, senior technician or a senior manager running a team of engineers and operators.
Opportunities also exist in research departments of companies that supply the industry or in a university setting where you would also be able to study for further qualifications such as Masters or PhDs.
Need more information, please contact ICME or Cast Metals Federation for information about how to join our industry.
Change of career
Looking for a career change? Opportunities exist at all levels and in all areas for enthusiastic and flexible individuals. Training is often available from companies to help you retrain and technical, managerial and administrative opportunities exist.