Wessex Water Graduate Training

AVK and Wessex Water On-site Training Programme

AVK welcome Wessex Water Engineers on a two-day training programme

In an industry that is always trying to engage with young people and graduates of all disciplines to impart knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm, AVK UK Water Projects Sales Manager, Stuart Montgomery developed a unique idea aimed at achieving this with young Wessex Water graduates. This is wholly aligned with Wessex Water’s ongoing apprentice programme of which thereare over 100 at present.

Stuart explained, “I have long thought that the best way to encourage and engage with younger members of our industry was to get to know them on an informal basis, engaging with them on an equal footing. I find that they are then more receptive to receiving information and knowledge acquired by more experienced and established people”.

With this in mind, Stuart liaised with Wessex Water and formulated a two-day training programme developed explicitly for four Wessex engineers that included three placement students and a project engineer. The two days included visits to four of AVK’s key production and distribution facilities in the UK - AVK Donkin in Chesterfield, AVK Syddal in Manchester, Aqua-Gas Manufacturing and their National Distribution Centre in Corby.

“The visits were designed to give them a unique insight into our manufacturing processes, meet our highly diverse skilled and experienced design engineers and to introduce them to common terms that can be very confusing at the beginning as we all have slightly different ways of saying things. In all my years with AVK UK, we have never had the opportunity to gather a group of young engineers and give them such an insight into our capabilities. It also gave them an opportunity to see how things work practically rather than looking at them in a brochure.” Stuart continued.

The days included presentations from Stuart, Stewart Collier and David Hurley. They covered a wide range of topics, including; general information regarding AVK UK, fittings and valve selection and applications, control valve modular designs, the evolution of gate valves and hydrants and innovations that AVK has introduced into the marketplace. Also, there were opportunities to have guided tours of all locations where the graduates were shown the extensive range of products and manufacturing expertise that AVK UK provides – even getting their hands dirty with some practical demonstrations!


“There were lots of positives from the day, and at the end of it, I believe the graduates had a better understanding of a high-quality production process, controlled supply chain management and the benefits of the long term strategic view we provide to support the water industry, as a whole. Also, that we offer solutions and not just products and to expect quality in every step – these are key promises in our Expect Values. The one thing that pleased me the most was that they left understanding engineering manufacturing is alive and well in the UK and that AVK UK design and manufacture world-class products entirely within the UK.” Concluded Stuart.

All, including the graduates and Wessex Water Management, received the whole exercise warmly and it led to the following responses from Wessex Water.

“Just to reiterate what everyone else has already said, thank you very much for hosting the guys over the past few-days. I know that each of them has got a lot out of the trip. Seeing how the supply chain works and getting training on specific applications will be invaluable in their further development. Can you also please pass on our thanks and gratitude to everyone involved over the past few-days? These sorts of things are not easy to organise and getting shown around and having presentations by all the various people was excellent. I’m sure that I will take you up on your offer for next year’s intake.” Simon Whaley, Project Manager, Wessex Water.

“I Would just like to thank you for organising the visit with Stuart, we all had a great time and learnt loads.” Thomas Edwards, Placement Student.

Wessex Water provides apprenticeship opportunities in a variety of different roles from office-based to technical departments, including engineering and construction.

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For further information on career opportunities at Wessex Water visit:  www.wessexwater.co.uk/careers

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