Design careers start here

Happily, over recent years for many manufacturers, output has gradually returned to pre-financial crisis levels and it is to be hoped that margins too are ‘on the up’. Yet in the face of increasing workloads, the skills shortage that challenges the wider sector is making an impact. Having lost experienced roof truss and floor designers throughout the downturn, companies are finding it difficult to recruit and retain quality staff. The realistic solution is to engage with and attract new talent into the industry - an approach that Wolf Systems embraces wholeheartedly.

 

Minding the skills gap

12 months ago we recruited graduates Richard Goalby and Craig Auden as Trainees within our Design team based in Coventry. Both were completely new to the industry and the workplace, but keen to get their careers started in an interesting field, with a company offering scope and prospects. One year on, how do they feel about the industry, their inaugural jobs and their potential career paths?

 

"The learning curve was incredibly steep and intense"

Richard graduated in Consumer Product Design from Coventry University in 2015.

"When I joined Wolf Systems I knew very little of the industry. My studies had given me a passion for design and manufacturing, something that I thought would at least help me appreciate the role a little more.

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"The learning curve was incredibly steep and intense. After just six months of learning not only about roof construction but also our structural design software, I had to present a project I had designed from start to finish to demonstrate my knowledge and understanding. There was a lot of stress at this point as my future at Wolf Systems literally depended upon the result. It was a really positive experience for me. It also taught me a lot about working under pressure which I think we all have to get used to.

"For me the industry is quite unusual; it has a very technical core but also offers the opportunity to be creative with the designs I produce. It is this combination that really appeals to me and Wolf Systems' provides a great environment in which to develop my skills. With career support, structured training and mentoring, I look forward to the ongoing reward of seeing designs I've produced come to fruition".

"It's certainly a more varied role than I ever expected"

Craig graduated in sports engineering from Sheffield Hallam University in 2015.

"I joined Wolf Systems at the same time as Richard which meant that we could benchmark our progress. I too didn’t have any previous knowledge of the industry, so was, to be honest, quite apprehensive initially. Truss and floor design seemed a far cry from sports engineering but I have been more than happy with my experience so far.

"The training programme has been very structured and has equipped me with the skills I need for the role. I’ve also really enjoyed being able to put the training into practice, working on live projects, end-to-end.

 

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"Six months marked the end of my probationary period and time to present a test job to the management team. And as you can imagine it came with great waves of nerves and really pushed my abilities as a designer, new to both the company and industry. It was the most challenging couple of weeks of my life which tested my time management, problem solving and design skills. But given all of this, I secretly really enjoyed getting stuck into a big job that I knew would need some out of the box thinking and patience. I successfully passed the test job and was delighted to be rewarded with a permanent contract with Wolf.

 

 

 

 

"Since then I have been able to increase my skills from the hotspot of knowledge in the Design Office. I have also started to help customers via our online help service which has been very insightful to our customers’ workloads. I think the next challenge will be organising and presenting my first training course for our customers. It's certainly a very varied role with more opportunity than I ever imagined and I look forward to where my career can take me within this sector - all being well, with Wolf Systems."

 

Get your career on course

If you - or someone you know - is interested in forging a manufacturing design career, Wolf Systems offers 6 levels of truss design training courses and 2 levels of easi-joist© floor design courses, all held at the company training centre in Coventry. All courses are run by members of the Design Office team, with at least one training course being organised each month.

To find out more or to secure your place, please contact our Design Office Manager:martin.moore@wolfsystem.co.uk