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Taking trainees overseas to broaden their know-how

JS Wright took its apprentices to Denmark where archery, demonstrations and an entrepreneur’s childhood home served up some inspiration.

With its vital role in saving energy and reducing global warming, building services is no longer an industry with national boundaries.

“For a few, it was their first visit abroad and their first opportunity to experience a foreign culture – in this case of a country consistently rated the happiest in the world.”

J S Wright chooses its suppliers for their product quality and innovation and their ability to work as partners wherever they are based. Many have been active supporters of the J S Wright Academy in giving engineers of the future hands-on knowledge of their systems with sponsored factory visits.

But no visit has been more rewarding than a three-day trip hosted by SAV Systems to Denmark, a country that is committed to 100 per cent renewable energy in electricity and heating by 2035 and being completely fossil-free by 2050.

First-hand look

A preferred supplier of combined heat and power plant and heat interface units, SAV has helped J S Wright to take a lead in the design and installation of energy-efficient low-cost district hot water systems and centralised energy centres for large residential developments.

SAV introduced all 16 craft and technical apprentices from J S Wright’s Birmingham and London offices to its exclusive suppliers Danfoss and EC Power, who guided them round their green factories and test labs.

J S Wright apprentices Denmark 2

J S Wright apprentices Denmark 2

The trainees at the adventure centre

The apprentices, aged between 17 and 22, were able to watch HIUs and CHP units of the type they were helping to install being manufactured to bespoke designs. They also enjoyed a session in servicing heat interface units and took away with them more of an understanding of the importance of green technology in saving the planet.

For a few, it was their first visit abroad and their first opportunity to experience a foreign culture – in this case of a country consistently rated the happiest in the world.

Team building

The trip included a visit to an adventure centre within a forest where the future engineers were able to develop their team-building skills in activities such as archery, robot wars and Chinese puzzles. The opportunity these exercises provided to foster communication, trust and co-operation in an exciting and completely new environment helped to bond people who had never worked together, but are likely to do so in the future.

J S Wright apprentices Denmark 3

J S Wright apprentices Denmark 3

Activities such as archery served as team-building exercises

A visit to the childhood home of Danfoss’s founder Mads Clausen helped reinforce the value of loyalty and commitment. It was from the attic of his family farmhouse – now a museum – that he single-handedly established what was to become one of Denmark’s largest industrial companies in 1933, in a similar way to which John Shilrock Wright founded J S Wright as a jobbing plumber in 1890.

SAV Systems director Jan Hansen was impressed with what he saw: “It was a pleasure to host J S Wright’s apprentices on our first-ever such tour. They were attentive and asked questions with great enthusiasm and were a credit to a company with whom we have built a strong and trusted working relationship over the past 10 years.”

Paul Millington is associate director at J S Wright

In-depth skills coverage

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