Alex Walton has always been passionate about making and fixing things. From an early age, he spent time with his ‘inspirational’ Grandad, playing around with his traditional engineering tools and learning the basics of putting objects back together again.
It is this diversity that the former apprentice loves most about his current role at Brandauer, that and the fact he gets to see the fruits of the team’s labour in the shape of parts that are saving lives and creating cleaner mobility.
“I never quite know what each day will bring and I really love that variety,” explained Alex, who started his career with Alstom in Stafford, before moving to Brandauer via a short stint with a materials handling firm in Tamworth.
“My first point of contact on a project is when the order lands and then, working with the engineering and production teams, we come up with a timing plan. At this stage, we might review the feasibility of the drawings, suggest some cost optimisation modifications, and then agree on a final blueprint to go into the toolroom.”
He continued: “From there I have to monitor progress through all departments until we get a product that is ready to be shipped to the customer. This involves talking to pretty much every element of the business and ensuring we are meeting the timings, quality and managing the cost.”
The former Walsall Academy student singled out the ability to communicate with people in different roles and reading technical drawings as being two of the main benefits.
“My one bit of advice to young people is to give your all in every job you are given to do. The early ones may not be glamorous and what you want to do, but you’ll learn from them and pick things up that you’ll be able to use as you progress.”
Alex, who completed his HNC in Mechanical Engineering in 2016, concluded: “Manufacturing is a great career and I love being at a small business, who let you get really involved in lots of different things. It gives you great satisfaction knowing that you are making parts that have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Established in 1862, Brandauer has invested heavily in the development of its apprenticeship programme and, working with In-Comm Training, has created more than ten engineers over the last three years – 20% of the current workforce.
Made Futures was created to encourage people to get jobs in manufacturing, in support of those who have lost their jobs over the course of the 2020 pandemic. There's still time to sign up and be part of the exhibition by filling in the form here.