its premises in the heart of Basingstoke, Link Microtek designs and produces waveguide components and subsystems for use in military and commercial communications applications.
Manufacturing these products requires the application of traditional engineering skills, but according to managing director Steve Cranstone, there is a real dearth of such expertise in the UK. “We are lucky to have a first-class engineering team that has been steeped in the microwave world for many years, together with a workshop staffed by experienced toolmakers and machinists,” he said.
“However, we recognise that future success in this area will depend on our ability to pass on our accumulated knowledge to a new generation of younger employees, and that is why we have now set up the apprenticeship scheme.”
As Link Microtek’s first apprentice, Stuart Gain initially spent one day a week at the company’s premises while finishing a National Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering at Basingstoke College of Technology.
He is now working full-time in Link Microtek’s prototyping and development workshop, under the watchful eye of his mentor. As well as being able to apply what he has learned in a practical manufacturing environment, he is rapidly acquiring a range of engineering skills whilst completing his apprenticeship.
Stuart commented: “The apprenticeship and mentoring have helped me greatly, and the support and knowledge of the older members of the team are invaluable.”