Foundry Engineering Apprentice WILLIAM LEE LIMITED

To train in the full technical and operational aspects of a large highly automated iron foundry. The departments you will spend time in are Quality, Core Making, Pattern Shop, Melting, Foundry and Process.

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Closing date: 14 Jan 2024

Apprenticeship summary

  • Annual wage


    Pay can increase to to £20,589.92 subject to performance

  • Working week

    Monday to Friday, 37.5 Hours, Times TBC.

    Total hours per week: 37.5

  • Expected duration

    27 Months

  • Possible start date

    01 Jul 2024

  • Date posted

    15 Nov 2023

  • Apprenticeship level

    Level 3 (A level)

  • Reference number


  • Positions

    6 available

What you will do in your working day

  • Health and Safety, you will receive training to understand your responsibilities and to help us continually improve.
  • Quality, you will have an overview of all aspects, from inspection, scanning, trials and how this is applied through our quality systems. This is to ensure we meet and deliver customer requirements.
  • All aspects of Core Making, from the raw materials to the different processes they go through.
  • All aspects of Melting and pouring iron from the raw material, quality checks and ensuring the correct temperature for the iron.
  • All aspects of Pattern Shop from making sure runner systems and feeders are in good order, to repairing patterns and core boxes.
  •  All aspects of Foundry, including sand testing, pattern prep, placing a core into the mould and machine settings.
  • All aspects of Process, including loading a robot cell, loading a Koyama, correct packaging of castings and meeting the required quality standards for customers.
  • The laying of cores into green sand moulds and those duties associated in line with production and quality standards.
  • To carry out any other duties within reason which are commensurate with your duties.
  • To report any issues to your line manager immediately and to actively pursue improvement ideas to increase quality and productivity efficiencies using Lean Manufacturing techniques. Health, Safety & Environment.
  • Ensure compliance with the company’s health and safety and environmental policies, ensuring these are understood and upheld.
  • Ensure that you are always equipped with the correct personal protective equipment and is properly looked after and maintained.
  • Ensure that all accidents are reported and recorded in the accident book.
  • Ensure any spillages are cleared up immediately and the correct emergency equipment is always available.

The training you will be getting

  • Metal casting, foundry and patternmaking technician apprenticeship leve 3 standard.
  • Apprentices without level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this prior to end point assessment.
  • Delivered 3 days per month at Sheffield College - City Campus (S2 2RL).

What to expect at the end of your apprenticeship

Excellent prospects of a long career in a rewarding industry with proigression routes available for the right candidates.

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills and personal qualities

Communication skills, Attention to detail, Problem solving skills, Team working


GCSE or equivalent English (Grade 3) Essential
GCSE or equivalent Maths (Grade 3) Essential

About the employer

William Lee has existed as an iron foundry for over 100 years and spent the majority of its time on Callywhite Lane. It has deep history since it began in 1860 as a family business at Montrose Works, Sheffield. The company moved to Callywhite Lane in 1901 and in 1924 the business was no longer owned by the Lee family. The foundry specialised in the production of malleable iron castings under various owners, such as William Prestwich and Sons in 1924, Tarmac in 1963 and Parkfield Group in 1986. During the Parkfield years the foundry started the move away from Malleable iron to spheroidal graphite iron (SG iron) as the business moved more towards truck and automotive iron castings. In 1991 the company was acquired by Castings PLC, and since that time the business has seen significant investment in new buildings, plant and equipment heading towards £50M. Today William Lee is one of the largest foundries left in the UK, following the demise of the UK foundry industry due to lack of investment, productivity and intense Worldwide competition. It is continual investment in plant, processes and a dedicated workforce that has enabled the company to remain in business. The company’s old 4 tonne ladles mark the entrance to Dronfield in two strategic places. These ladles where used for the production of malleable iron produced through cupola melting. Iron being transferred from the cupola receiving drum into these ladles for transferring into a large holding furnace.




Callywhite Lane



S18 2XU

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Training provider


Adjustments for experience

You could reduce your training time, or finish your apprenticeship faster, if you have relevant prior learning or experience. This could be relevant:

  • training
  • qualifications, like an NVQ in a relevant field
  • industry or sector experience


Paul Edwards


Apprenticeship standard

Metal casting, foundry and patternmaking technician

Level 3 (A level)

Demonstrating experience

If your application is successful, you will have a chance to discuss your relevant prior learning or experience with your training provider and employer. You will all need to agree any adjustments to your training plan.

You should be prepared to show your competence, and evidence of relevant qualifications

Before you apply

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