The foundry business requires specialist skills – like the ability to make ceramic cores, restore wooden patterns and make sand moulds. Many of these specific skills no longer form part of the formal education offering.

That’s where an apprenticeship at Bonds comes in. We employ up to 20 apprentices and trainees across the group at any one time. Apprentices work in a wide range of departments across all three of our foundries and many of them ultimately gain high level NVQs.  

We work with local colleges, such as Derwentside College, to supplement the on-the-job training with relevant courses, like general engineering.

If you’re interested in learning a specialist skill combined with college education please contact us to find out more.

Apply here or for more information email
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Bonds & Derwentside College

Derwentside College has worked alongside all three of Bonds’ foundries for the delivery of intermediate and advanced apprenticeship programmes in Engineering Technical Support, Materials Processing and Finishing, Engineering Maintenance and Fabrication and Welding.

Bespoke programmes are arranged to ensure that the skills gained by the apprentices in the workplace, through mentoring programmes with skilled technicians, is supplemented with apprenticeship framework delivery and assessment of NVQ Diplomas, Technical Certificates and Functional Skills – meeting the national apprenticeship standards by Derwentside College staff.  

Jeff Bower of Derwentside College said:  “All of the Bonds group of companies have shown vision in the need to develop and enhance skills for the future – employing local young people to ensure the skill base is maintained in this traditional, highly skilled sector of industry.  

“Derwentside College is honoured to be involved with Bonds and their significant investment in the training of apprentices,” he added.

Case Study


Hearing that a customer is pleased with the quality of the castings – which he personally inspected – is what motivates Matthew Swatton, Quality Inspector at Bonds Foundry.

Having joined Bonds Foundry straight from school as a trainee in the inspection department, Matthew was keen to join the apprenticeship scheme. And when he completes his training he will have a General Engineering L3 NVQ and will be a time served inspector.

The hard work he’s put in attending college 1 day per week for two years has been worth it as Matthew says: ‘The wider experience at college, with the engineering theory and the opportunity to visit other manufacturing sites, was very valuable.’

He appreciates the support Bonds Foundry has given him by offering additional training and qualifications along the way. As a result Matthew also counts an L1 in UT inspection and a B-Tech in welding and fabrication L3 as achievements.

But Matthew has set his sights higher. He sees his apprenticeship as just the start of his progression and is considering a night course to gain his HNC. He knows that many of the directors worked their way up from the shop floor and has ambitions to do the same.

‘I always aim higher’ says Matthew.




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