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Bri-Stor Group Apprentice Training Facility Completed


A brand-new apprenticeship training facility was completed this week after a 6-week project to build the dedicated learning centre, which will be the home of all Bri-Stor Group apprentices during their studies.

Bri Stor Systems Apprentices Race for Help for Heroes

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Bri-Stor Systems first year apprentices spent their May bank holiday raising funds for our charity partner Help for Heroes by competing in a Soap Box Derby at the local Stone festival.

Bri-Stor catch up with Higher Apprentice Jessica Thomson to see what's been happening over the last 18 months

jess engineering 1

In Jess’s own words, she explains what she has been learning over the last 18 months.

"Being a Bri-Stor Apprentice allows me to obtain my degree and develop in my career at the same time, which will give me a good head start into this industry. Using myself as an example of females in engineering roles I hope to breakdown the stereotype and inspire people into the endless possibilities of working in Engineering roles.“

The JCB Academy provide additional training to Bri-Stor Apprentices

JCB Electrical Training

Bill Green from The JCB Academy is on site this week providing additional electrical training to our Year 2 Apprentices.

Record Attendance for Apprenticeship Open Evening

Open Evening 1

The first Bri-Stor Group Apprenticeship Opening of 2018 was a resounding success, with record numbers of young people and parents attending the event.

Prospective Apprenticeship candidates of both Bri-Stor Systems and Alpha Manufacturing were invited, along with their parents to come and discover what the Apprenticeship programme has to offer.

Bri-Stor catch up with our Year 1 Apprentices


This week we have been catching up with our Year 1 Engineering Apprentices to see what they have been up to and what projects are on the horizon.

A Proud day for Bri-Stor Group Apprentices

Apprenticeship Presentation 2

Well done to all of our Year 2 Apprentices who have once again worked very hard on their studies and as a result have passed their NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations.

The young group gathered at Bri-Stor Group offices to be handed their certificates by Group Director Martin Smith, proudly watched by Apprentice Managers William Davies-Hill and Stephen Bowen who have mentored the group since they first arrived.

Martin commented afterwards: “They have all worked really hard so far, taking on everything we’ve asked of them and should be extremely proud of themselves today. For me it’s also a proud day as I know that the future of our business depends on young engineers like these and it makes me certain that we’re heading in the right direction”

We are looking forward to seeing the Apprentices put their new skills and knowledge in to practice on a day to day basis.

Bri-Stor group-apprentices

From Left to right: Group Managing Director Martin Smith, Apprentices Reuben Murcott, Adam Goody, Tayler Renshaw, Alex Orme, Lewis Parker, Chris Golding and Apprenticeship Manager William Davies-Hill

Local Students Visit Bri-Stor


Apprentice Visit HeaderBri-Stor Systems today welcomed a group of young students from a local High-school, who were keen to learn more about our Apprenticeship programme.

Apprentices in pole position


Our Apprentices have finished the 2nd Caterham Car Project.

Having prepared the workshop back in August ready for delivery of the Caterham Seven, the build is now complete after 10 weeks of hard work and determination.

Under guidance from Apprenticeship Manager William Davies-Hill, the Apprentices from Bri-Stor and Alpha Manufacturing have been following manufacturer instructions to build the self-assembly car.

A chance to build a quality sports car gives them the ideal opportunity to channel their energy to a constructive end, learn new skills and as a result they will be given the chance to go trackside and see the car on a local race track.

Well done to all the Apprentices who helped build the car from scratch; you did a great job.

The Caterham Wheels are Turning

Caterham Build Week 8

The Apprenticeships are continuing to make progress with the Caterham build which has seen it take to motion this week on its first test drive. The steering was on track, no visible leaks appeared and the gages on the dashboard all showed the right signals.

Work has been progressing on the interior of the car, which now looks close to finishing. The seats have been bolted in place, it is equipped with the centre console and the rear view mirror has been fitted.

The Apprentices have shown limitless enthusiasm and we are sure that their visit to a nearby race track in the coming weeks will be a day to remember.

The Caterham Build is Racing Forward


The Apprentices are over halfway through the Caterham build and it is going from strength to strength.

This week the indicators and the headlights will be assembled and fitted. The coolant and oil will be filled and ready for testing and if all this is achieved the team will start on the interior of the vehicle.

Well done to the team who have so far accomplished the build ahead of schedule.


Caterham build progresses ahead of schedule

Caterham Build week 3-4

The Apprentices have been working hard over the last couple of weeks which has seen the build of the Caterham progress ahead of schedule.

With a slightly different approach to the first build, the teams have fitted the engine at a slightly earlier stage. In addition to this, the front axle and brakes have now been assembled along with wiring electrical components and they have attached the coolant pipes.

The next stage will see them fit the role cage inside the car and then focus on finishing the rear suspension and rear wings.

Apprenticeship Manager William Davies-Hill says “The Apprentices have really been engaged in the build so far, resulting in a very successful few weeks and the build is well ahead of schedule”.

Caterham Build week 3-4 2

Caterham Build – Week 2

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With a workshop full of spanners, spring washers and bolts, the Caterham build continues as team 2 start their nominated tasks and begin to feel the excitement of what the next 10 weeks will bring them.

This week will see the team put the gearbox on the bellhousing, in preparation of getting the engine ready to go into the car. The De Dion tube will also be assembled which holds the rear axle together.

This is where the build really starts to take shape, and no doubt the Apprentices will get a real appreciation for Caterham Kit cars.

 Caterham Build week 2

Caterham Build Project – Week 1

Fuelled by a passion for motorsport, Bri-Stor and Alpha Manufacturing Apprentices will take on the challenge of building a Caterham racing car.

Caterham Build week 1

The project started this week as team 1, consisting of Sam Thompson, Tayler Renshaw and Saisal Khan began by setting out the car parts and organising the components in to sections.

Having masked off parts of the chassis that need protecting, they will then begin building the front of the car, focusing on the suspension and the steering.

Project Manager Ian Buckley and William Davies-Hill will be on hand each week to assist the Apprentices with the build. Stephen Bowen, Apprenticeship Manager will also oversee the project from start to finish.

We are all looking forward to seeing this project progress, from arrival in a flat-pack, to assembling the vehicle from its individual parts to finale which will see the Apprentices race the car on a professional race track.

Caterham Build week 1.1

Hard Work Pays Off

Caterham Race Day 1

This week our Apprentices headed to Donnington race track with Bri-Stor Group Directors, Project Manager Ian Buckley and Apprentice Manager William Davies-Hill to experience a full day on the track with the Caterham 7 Kit Car. Over the past 3 months the team have gradually built the Caterham from scratch and as a result were rewarded with numerous laps around the track in their prized piece.

Joshua Crisp, Bri-Stor Systems Apprentice said of the day: “I Had Such an amazing experience at Donnington park with all the apprentices and managers from Bri-Stor Systems. Thrilled to have had this opportunity”.

Plans are already in place for the next Caterham project to be built by the next intake of Apprentices. Going forward, this is something Bri-Stor may continue to organise as this is a great way for them to develop their skills and improve their knowledge and understanding of engineering.

Caterham Race Day 2

Martin Smith commented “The lads did a brilliant job of the build and today was about giving them something to remember, as reward for the way they went about the project. The teams were so enthusiastic about the whole project throughout and end result was fantastic".

The Caterham - Wrapped to Perfection

Caterham Wrap

This week has seen a more creative aspect to the build. The Caterham has had a wrap designed and applied by skilled applicators and the end result is fantastic. It has transformed the look of the car with its vertical stripes; it's not quite as fast as a Dodge Viper but it certainly looks just as good.

The main aim for this week is to finish the wiring, check all fluids and bleeding and do a dry turn over.

The build is going from strength to strength and hopefully next week the Apprentices will get the chance to rev it up for the first time!

Caterham Build continues its build

Caterim Kit week 8

This week has been no different to any other with a busy schedule for the Caterham build. Our Apprentices have tackled electrics from wiring lights and adjusting indicators, putting their skills to the test.

Other mechanical components have been worked on this week including handbrake adjustment, oiling the engine and bleeding the brakes.

There are still some challenges ahead and these next few weeks will be testament to the build and completion of the car.

The Apprentice Caterham Project is racing ahead

Week 7

Over the last few weeks our Apprentices have been making exceptional progress on the Caterham build. The team have worked closely with each other to make sure that all elements have been assembled correctly, from interior fittings such as gear lever, steering wheel and a roll cage to final details such as electrical wiring, fitting the suspension, gearbox and radiator installation to name just a few.

Now about 2/3 of the way the way through the build, the team are beginning to talk about the final stages of the project and we can’t wait for them to fire it up for the first time.

Week 6

The build begins for the Caterham Kit Car

Our 2nd year Apprentices get under way with their 2017 project to build a Caterham kit car. Every week will see them progress through a pre-defined schedule which will result in a completed build. The build will take around 12 weeks and this will certainly challenge our Apprentices, especially in their technical skills. The build will include full assembly of drivetrain, engine, electricals, bodywork and fixings to produce a fully functional track day car.

This weeks’ task was to get to grips with fitting instructions and to start building the suspension wishbones. Not an easy task by far, but we have confidence that our Apprentices will complete this section ready for the next stage.

Atlas Coating Manager Ian Buckley, who is project managing the build said:
"It's a great project for the young Apprentices to be involved in and they've been really keen to get started. It's a good opportunity to hone their engineering skills whilst working on something really engaging interesting to them whilst building good teamwork skills. I think they'll be really proud of the finished project once its complete."

Caterim Kit Car 1

Apprentices ready to start the build of suspension wishbones.

Apprentice News

Apprentice Training 

Our Apprentices have recently been provided with additional training, which has already been implemented into their working day at Bri-Stor.

This additional training will serve to enhance their skills, technical knowledge, and their ability on the shop floor. This training will be documented onto their Annual Skills Matrix.

The Two courses consisted of a lock fitting course and an electrical course. The Lock Fitting Course saw them being taught how to correctly install Armadillo Locks and how to install deadlocks into the rear and side doors of a commercial vehicle. The Electrical course was an enhancement to the training they received earlier in the year and was to refresh their memories and how to Fit Inverters into a commercial vehicle.

Group Certificate presentation2

Both Courses have taken place onsite with trained professionals from the Bri-Stor Team, Guy Bethall Prototype Team Leader and Rob Bunyon Electrical Engineer.

The next course planned for the Apprentices will see them being taught how to fit Diesel Heaters. This training will be provided by an External Supplying Partner of Bri-Stor, Eberspacher UK Limited. 


Bri-Stor exhibit at The JCB Academy Careers Day

Bri-Stor recently attended a careers event at The JCB Academy to talk to students about our Apprenticeship Schemes and our Partnership with the Academy.

The day was very busy and we had lots of interest about our next intake of Apprentices. The Bri-Stor vehicle and the Caterham Car we built earlier this year certainly drew lots of attention and when students found out that would be one of their future projects, they were impressed and excited by this.

JCB Open Day 7 October - web

 Sparks Fly for our Apprentices

Our current Apprentices have been training recently to advance their knowledge on Vehicle Electrics. To do this, Bri-Stor used the following methods:-

  • Assess current knowledge level
  • Power Point presentation to further their knowledge of electrics in vehicles. For eg: how automatic gearboxes work and how signals are passed to control gear selection
  • White board question and answer session to simplify and build on explanations
  • Bri-Stor used the current build of the Caterham Seven Kit Car to show how components work in conjunction with each other to produce a smooth running engine

Seeing our Apprentices develop and gain more skills is very rewarding for Apprenticeship Manager William Davies-Hill.

Electrical Training September 2017 - 3 web



Bri-Stor’s Electrical / Mechanical Engineering Apprentices
take a step towards their future.

JCB Apprentices - Week 1

This week our 2017 Apprentices have begun their Electrical / Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at The JCB Academy. The first week will see all of them complete a programme to include topics such as an introduction to CAD, drawings and design, electrical training and welding. Mixing classroom-study with practical work and real experience will certainly see them develop their skills.

On Monday 11th September, the Apprentices will be back at Bri-Stor to complete their Level 1 in Health and Safety with Michael Osborne, Group Health and Safety Manager. Following this, they will begin their formal lessons over at The JCB Academy to complete 3 weeks wiring and electrics.
We look forward to guiding our Apprentices into the next part of their career and to see them qualify as professionals of the future.

Apprenticeships Week1

Our second year Apprentices have reached a milestone 
by completing their 2 year Apprenticeship
course in Auto Electrics.
Apprentices been presented with their qualification certificates by Martin Smith, Group Director.

Martin Smith, The Bri-Stor Group Director, presented each individual with their certificates and congratulated them for all their hard work over the last 2 years.

Since they began at Bri-Stor back in 2015, we have seen all of them mature, develop and adapt in to the working environment. All of them have been trained, mentored and tutored which has seen them successfully gain a IMI Level 3 Diploma in Auto Electrical and Mobile Electrical Principles (VRQ) Auto Electrician Route and a IMIAL Level 3 Diploma in Auto Electrical and Mobile Electrical Competence (VCQ) Auto Electrician Route.

Each Apprentice has secured a full time position as an Auto Electrician and we are looking forward to seeing them progress their careers at Bri-Stor.

William Davies-Hill, Apprenticeship Manager said “I would like to offer each of them my congratulations and I wish them all the best for the future.”

Bri-Stor Apprenticeship Presentation 1


On Tuesday 1st August The Bri-Stor Group welcomed the
new 2018 Apprentices at their premises
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2017 / 2018 Apprentices having their induction

The Bri-Stor Group intake of 15 Apprentices were greeted by William Davies-Hill and Stephen Bowen, Apprenticeship Mangers. Jordanna Richards, Group HR Administrator, conducted their induction which saw them go through their contracts and the employee handbooks. Following this, they were then issued with their uniform and taken on a guided tour of the Groups facilities. 

The Apprentices will spend the week commencing 4th September 2017 at The JCB Academy where they will be given a tour of the facility and the working environment. They will also undertake multiple assessments to ascertain what level each of them are currently working at in areas such as English, Maths, Hand Tool Skills and Welding.

Week commencing the 11th September will then see the Apprentices start a weekly routine. Monday will take place at Bri-Stor Systems undertaking Business Improvement Techniques (BIT) with Matthew Trussler, Lean Manufacturing Manager and William Davies-Hill and Stephen Bowen. Tuesday through to Friday the Apprentices will follow a programme attended at The JCB Academy to undertake technical and practical training. After the first 12 months of this routine they will then spend 4 days a week at Bri-Stor Systems and one day a week at The JCB Academy.

After 18 months the Apprentices will undergo testing in the topics that they have been instructed in, this is called the “Gateway Assessment” and following these results the Apprentices will then undergo further technical training or complete a craft Apprenticeship.

We are looking forward to working with our new Apprentices in September.

State-of-the-art Apprenticeship Training Centre Opens After Huge Investment

JCB Dove Engineering Centre 1
Artists impression of the Dove Centre, Apprentice Jess testing the VR headset, graphics and logo application in the drawing room and our Apprentices arriving at the opening.

JCB Academy opened its new Apprentice training facility, The Dove Engineering Centre on Wednesday 19th July. The new 687sqm facility will cater for The JCB Academy’s higher level Apprenticeship students and will include state-of-the-art technology and equipment, enabling the Apprentices to develop their skills and knowledge even further.

In Partnership with The JCB Academy, The Bri-Stor Group have a drafting room at the Centre which the Apprentices will utilise for training. For this, Bri-Stor were able to apply graphics and logos to the interior of the room to make it more personalised.

JCB Academy Drawing Room
Our Apprentices learning new skills in the drawing room at the new Dove Centre

4 of the Groups Apprentices, Jessica Thompson, Christopher Golding, Rueben Murcott and Samuel Weaver, were in attendance to demonstrate the new facility in operation. Jessica Thompson had the privilege of introducing Lord Bamford to the drafting room, where he spoke to the other Apprentices about their roles and the training that they have received both from JCB Academy and training at Bri-Stor facilities.

Lord Bamford completed the opening by presenting an opening plaque to the Academy. The Bri-Stor Group company directors then had a tour of the facility and the opportunity to see where the 2017 intake of Apprentices will be undertaking their training.

JCB Academy Lord Banford
Lord Banford talking to our Apprentices

For further information on The JCB Academy new Dove Centre click here


Roads, Lets Make them Safer!

Our Apprentices are meeting on 5th July with Road Safety Officer, Irene Williamson from Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership. Their aim is to educate and teach us about road safety issues that concern them with the aim of reducing road casualties in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Reducing casualties through education, training, publicity, enforcement and engineering… their goal will:

  • Listen and consult with our local communities on road safety issues that concern them
  • Use data to decide the most appropriate way of tackling identified problems
  • Work together to share resources, skills and ideas
  • Continually monitor and evaluate what we do to check it is working
  • Do the best we can to make Staffordshire's roads even safer

This is an example of how Bri-Stor Systems looks to take care of our young Apprentices and to see them gain additional knowledge in areas that they can use in social hours.

Apprenticeship road safety training

Bri-Stor Apprentices start electrical training on-site

Having finished their initial training at The JCB Academy, our Apprentices have been doing some electrical training this week with Rob Bunyan, Bri-Stor Field Service Engineer. The group have been practising all sorts of electrical wiring including a hand wash system which encompasses a relay and a switch.

After they have completed this they will be paired up with an electrician to start electrics on a working vehicle.

We are proud of our Apprentices who are showing some real skill and determination since they joined us back in September 2016 and we look forward to seeing their progress over the next few months.

Electrical Training


Bri-Stor Apprentices undertake 'On Board Diagnostic' training

On the 2nd May Westfalia Automotive delivered On Board Diagnostic (OBD) training to the Apprentices, which has provided them with a sound knowledge of the OBD reader’s capability and restrictions.

The training was delivered in two parts. The first part was through an informative presentation which gave the eager youngsters the background knowledge about the OBD and its capabilities. The second part was conducted on the vehicles on the shop floor, where they each had the opportunity to connect the OBD reader to the vehicles, then interpret both historic fault codes and live data that the vehicle has stored in the Electronic Control Unit (ECU).

A big thanks to Rick Sykes for his time delivering this to our Apprentices.

OBD Training

Training taking place in the Bri-Stor factory

Podium Finish for Bri-Stor Apprentices

Raft Race Final

Following on from Stones Soapbox Derby a week ago, the Apprentices took part in the Stone Festival Raft Race on Sunday 4th June held on the River Trent from Darlaston to Walton Bridge.

From day one, the Apprentices worked alongside a dedicated team of in-house engineers who designed the amphibious vehicle to be able to compete in both the soapbox derby and raft race with minimal modifications.

With a large turnout of locals and employee supporters, the race got underway at 10am reminding ourselves it is not the first to arrive at Westbridge Park that wins but the one with the shortest time for the journey.

The Bri-Stor raft certainly looked impressive on the water and we were confident that it would successfully make it across the finish line. We didn’t fall short of this expectation and Bri-Stor finished in third position, a brilliant result for the team.

The sun kept its hat on and made for a great days entertainment. Making their way down the river was a great achievement and definitely not something that all teams competing could say they accomplished.

Stone High Street Soapbox Derby a Flying SuccessFB IMG 1496177470149

Following a hugely successful debut last year, Stone Festival hosted their second annual Soapbox Derby, which saw some of the weirdest and most wonderful karts battling it out.

This year Bri-Stor Systems and sister company Alpha Manufacturing were happy to sponsor the local event which was a great success. With a packed audience waiting in anticipation, the race got underway at 4pm and continued into the early evening with carts having not one but two races down the course. 

The Bri-Stor cart got the crowd wooing and cheering with their slick design and electrical ingenious built in to the front and back of the cart. Suffering from a few teething problems from the back axle, the cart was launched with a running push start from team members and off they went.

The Apprentices from Alpha Manufacturing were up next where they took inspiration from Alpha's charity partners – Help for Heroes and built an army camouflaged tank-racer. We have received confirmation from the event organiser that the Alpha Tank probably won the prize for the most airborne of all Soapboxes going over the jump.

This year the Apprentices were assigned with an additional task which required the team to build the soapbox cart as an amphibious vehicle to operate in water. Sunday 2nd June will see the team take to water at the Darlaston Inn in Stone down the River Trent to Stafford and Stone Canoe club, approximately 2km; fingers crossed they stay afloat.

This was a great day all round and a pleasure for us to be involved not only in participating and sponsoring the race but also in raising awareness and support for our charity partner in the process.

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