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Tailored Training Enhances TMD Friction Staff

Event Date 
Wednesday, 12 June, 2024

L to R: Mark Elliott (Head of Advanced Manufacturing Engineering at Hartlepool College) with Jack Fallow, Simon Young, Stephen Smailes and Martin Haswell (Learning & Development HR Business Partner at TMD Friction). Picture: HCFE
L to R: Mark Elliott (Head of Advanced Manufacturing Engineering at Hartlepool College) with Jack Fallow, Simon Young, Stephen Smailes, and Martin Haswell (Learning & Development HR Business Partner at TMD Friction). Picture: HCFE

A global leader in brake friction technology has thanked Hartlepool College of Further Education for providing a more cost-effective and efficient way to upskill the workforce. TMD Friction Hartlepool, based on Oakesway Industrial Estate, wanted to improve methods to develop its staff.

After discussions with the College, a tailored five-day course was created to focus on pneumatics, hydraulics, and Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) specialist commercial training for the fitters employed at TMD.

Ben Readman, Stephen Smailes, Jack Fallow and Simon Young completed the course and received certification without having to travel elsewhere in the UK for training overnight.  

Martin Haswell, Learning & Development HR Business Partner at TMD Friction, said: “The programme was incredibly important for TMD as this is a skillset and knowledge base which we are starting to lose due to retirement and we rely heavily on contractor support for hydraulic work. This training allows the next generation of maintenance technicians to start to build up this knowledge and become the experts for TMD in the future. The four who took part are all current apprentices or apprentices recently out of their time and the learning helps to reinforce the knowledge they are building up on the job. These guys are at the start of their careers and have time to develop this initial learning and take on more and more ownership and responsibility for the maintenance and ultimately the reliability of our pneumatics and hydraulic equipment.”

TMD Friction wants to be self-sufficient and have all relevant skills on site. With the help of Hartlepool College, the course supports the company with that long-term goal and there are plans to repeat for further employees. Martin added: “The programme was excellent, all four of our attendees were very complimentary of the content and delivery of the course. There was a lot to cram into a short space of time but a good introduction to the subject.”

TMD Friction has more than 135 years of experience in the braking friction industry and are among the world's largest manufacturers of brake friction materials. They also cater to some of the most prestigious racing series, such as the 24 Heures Du Mans racing cars and others. Hartlepool College is proud to have served the community for 175 years and that includes helping organisations upskill their staff.

Mark Elliott, Head of Advanced Manufacturing Engineering at the College, said: “This shows we are responsive to the needs of business, can maximise the expertise we have within the College, and create new business opportunities and additional income by promoting and offering the training to businesses in similar sectors. This particular programme supports the fitters (mechanical engineering apprentices) working within the manufacturing operations of the company. It provided a locally-based solution to support TMD. Prior to this bespoke commercial training being put in place TMD was having this delivered by external providers in other parts of the country. The learners were participative and enjoyed the course content. The feedback from the learners on the course evaluations was very positive too.”

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