Skip to main

Sean’s Graduate Apprenticeship project supports net zero with new technology

#ScotAppWeek24 Apprenticeships Net zero
Sean Crumley

Glaswegian Sean Crumley has cut carbon emissions and boosted productivity at Valve Components Ltd as part of his Graduate Apprenticeship. 

His interest in supporting net zero was sparked through a project at the East Kilbride-based company which focused on finding new ways of manufacturing – and reduced the amount of material used by 75%. 

The project resulted in new technology being developed – and helped the 25-year-old achieve a First-Class Honours degree from Glasgow Caledonian University. 

Industrial engineer Sean played a key role in redesigning and re-defining a manufacturing process using readily available raw materials that could be manufactured in-house, reducing the amount of material used significantly. 

There was also less waste material, less energy used, and minimal transport, boosting the company’s green credentials – and it reduced the lead time. 

Sean explained: “Working on proof of concept right through to manufacturing the actual product was a fantastic opportunity. 

“Net zero is important to me because it’s everyone’s responsibility to look after the planet and we all have a part to play. 

“Doing the Graduate Apprenticeship gave me a more rounded understanding of engineering and a greater understanding of the fundamental principles.” 

The company now plans to introduce more self-manufacturing to produce raw materials and reduce net carbon – as a direct result of the findings in Sean’s project. 

Sean had originally worked in mechanical engineering, but his skills as an industrial engineer increased considerably as a result of completing the Graduate Apprenticeship in Engineering: Design and Manufacture. 

He recently joined a start-up company which makes drones powered by AI. 

His achievements have led to him being a finalist in the Supporting Net Zero Apprentice of the Year category of the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards. 

Graduate Apprenticeships are a way to get qualified up to Masters degree level while in paid employment. 

Designed by education and employers, Graduate Apprenticeships are offered in key sectors that need highly skilled employees. 

Glenalmond Group Engineering Manager David Telford, who is based at Valve Components Ltd said: “Sean showed great enthusiasm for his degree, really applied himself to his learning and was determined to progress his career. 

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to optimise our talent pool and upskills our workforce too.” 

Glasgow Caledonian University Graduate Apprenticeship Tutor David Semple said: “Sean really applied himself and worked very hard to achieve his First Class Honours degree. 

“He was a great student to work with, he had the drive within him to succeed and he has a very bright future ahead of him.” 

Sean Crumley and David Telford

Find out more

The winner of the Supporting Net Zero Apprentice of the Year category will be revealed during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 4 to 8 March.

Go to the events web page