When Emma Sisman joined Niftylift two years ago she had ‘little to no experience or knowledge’ of engineering and manufacturing.

Now she’s the second highest skilled person in her department, heading up a waste reduction project that cut the cost of lost-in-production parts by 80 per cent, saving the company on average £29,000 per month.

“That shows the power the apprenticeship programme has in developing and progressing individuals,” says Emma who has completed a three-year Technical Support apprenticeship and is now a first year degree apprentice employed by the Barnsley-based company.

The skills/ knowledge blend.

It is the blend of practical skills and knowledge gained during her University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre apprenticeship, coupled with a progressive company like Niftylift that values its human capital, which has seen Emma lead project teams tasked with improving the business.

“My greatest achievement to date during my apprenticeship has been to head up a waste reduction project where we achieved a reduction in lost-in-production parts cost by 80 per cent, saving the company on average £29,000 per month,” says the 21-year-old.

Martyn Gannon, QA Manager, Niftylift, said Emma has become an integral part of the Quality Assurance and wider departmental teams.

“She has taken on several projects which make an impact on the bottom line of the business. The most recent being the reduction of lost-in-production parts, reducing the cost from £39k per month to a current level of £8k per month. To enable this Emma had to organise investigative, collaborative cross-functional teams, root cause analysis, and designs of experiments to prove out theories and improvement initiatives.

“She has also taken on the planning and organising of external training and development of the quality technicians, improving overall skill versatility of the Quality Assurance technicians from 55 per cent to 66 per cent.”

Investing in the future.

Emma, whose aspirations are to become a qualified engineer and be professionally recognised within industry, works as part of a team that covers engineering, manufacturing and machine assembly for Niftylift. She’s also taken under her wing the quality administrator training department, educating the team in the company’s systems, processes and products.

Nikki Jones, director of the AMRC Training Centre, said Emma is an apprenticeship champion and a credit to her employer. “Emma is a perfect example of how industry can harness the fresh-thinking, skills and new ideas apprentices bring into company and use those to help them innovate, drive productivity, become resilient, recover and regrow.”

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