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Former apprentice in ground-breaking project

When Tyler Hatton first joined Denby Pottery as an engineering apprentice at the age of 16, little did he imagine that a few years later he would be heading up a ground-breaking project at the globally-known manufacturer.

But in a relatively short time he became part of the team that designed and installed a system that has arguably revolutionised production at the Derbyshire-based Denby Pottery.

Initially joining the company as an Electrical Mechanical Engineering Apprentice, Tyler, now 24, has progressed to Automation Manager and is leading a team that is changing the way that production is monitored across the plant.

Denby Pottery’s Electrical Team Leader, Mike Warman, said: “He has done amazingly well. He’s a very skilled engineer and it’s been great to see him progress and develop his career.”

Mike spotted his potential when he first met Tyler, while he himself worked at the Derby branch of apprenticeship and training provider, Learning Limited. Mike became Tyler’s assessor and supported him right through until Tyler completed his apprenticeship three years ago.

Tyler says his apprenticeship was a good opportunity to learn his trade in a well-established company that has a history dating back more than 200 years of producing handcrafted tableware.  He feels his apprenticeship was the best way of learning how the company operates.

“One of the benefits of being an apprentice was getting to work with different engineers who had different backgrounds and skills sets. Each person had a different way of doing things which helped me find which way was best for me and sometimes that comprised of combining two methods together.”

He added: “As an apprentice I was not only able to earn a wage whilst I learned my trade, but I had the opportunity to progress into higher positions or a different trade from electrical engineer to automation engineer to automation manager.”

Once he’d completed the apprenticeship, Tyler went on to work with the team that has launched a new automation system that monitors all the machines around the Derbyshire plant. It’s a system that allows operators to remotely control and monitor production anywhere on site, allowing them to be quicker to respond to changes. Recommending the apprenticeship route, he says that his apprenticeship opened up opportunities to him including the chance to work on a major project that is now making a huge impact on the company.