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With lots of apprentices working at one of Birmingham’s oldest family businesses, RH Nuttal managing director Ian Nuttal is as much a father-figure to his young employees as he is their boss…
“It is thanks to The Apprenticeship Works who understand our business that we get the right apprentices for us – young people who are willing to learn about what we do and what our customers want,” says Ian.
“Apprentices who come here through The Apprenticeship Works are already interviewed and are young people who Steve Burnett knows will fit with our firm. It means their time and our time isn’t wasted and we can get on with helping them establish their careers.”
RH Nuttal, which two year’s ago supplied all the washers for the Tower of London poppy installation, was established in 1860 and has been passed through the family ever since.
Based in Nechells, the company excels in the manufacture of non-metallic washers, gaskets and sealing strip.
The current generation – father Ian and sons Steve and Bryan - has seen the original washer and gasket manufacture grow and develop across a broad spectrum of industrial sectors and moreover diversify into new areas of production including rubber strip, expanded sponge strip and coil manufacture in recent times.
Employing a dedicated and experienced team of over thirty people, RH Nuttall Limited is a leading UK gasket manufacturer and a family business which looks after its employees.
Steve Burnett, from The Apprenticeship Works, said: “Ian trusts us to find the right apprentices for his company and once we’ve interviewed someone and know they are right for the firm we know Ian will make sure they get a good apprenticeship and in many cases a permanent job at the end of it.”
The Apprenticeship Works, which is based in High Street, West Bromwich, acts as a broker and is one of only a few government-backed brokerage schemes in the country.
Apprentices are employed by the agency with the employer paying a small weekly contribution and not having any of the worry of paperwork, HR, interview or training costs.
One of the best success has been Brad Pritchard who joined RH Nuttal through The Apprenticeship Works after realising he didn’t want to continue with A level studies. Within 18months of being at the business he is no longer an apprentice but has quickly moved on to support the works manager.
“Brad was an excellent recommendation by The Apprenticeship Works,” says Ian, “as was Matthew Hill who we have also taken on full time in our sales team. He knows how to talk to our customers and is very willing to learn.”
Matt, aged 19, was referred to The Apprenticeship Works after leaving Q3 Academy and taking up a course at Sandwell College.
He said; “The Apprenticeship Works were really helpful to me and within about a week of going to see them they found my apprenticeship here. I’m glad they matched me with this business and now I’ve been taken on full-time.”
Apprentices Victoria Harwood, 18 and Georgia Featherstone, 16, work in the accounts department and are each hoping that their apprenticeships will also lead to permanent jobs.
Victoria said: “I love it here, I am learning a lot from the business and am well supported by both Nuttal’s and The Apprenticeship Works.”
Dominic Owen, 18, is also on an apprenticeship in the sales team where he sends quotes, chases up orders and says the apprenticeship route has worked out well for him.
“Steve is very active about getting the right apprentices for us,” says Ian, “he is very open and always has time to talk and see how the a young person will fit in here. It not only makes my job so much easier but also gives the young apprentice the right start in their working life.”

Anyone who wants to find out more about The Apprenticeship Works can call 0845 873 3855.

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