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Josh Raine, Team Leader in Training at Universal Wolf

An interview with… Josh Raine, Team Leader in Training

27 October 2023

Josh Raine is Team Leader in Training at Universal Wolf. He joined us as a Sheet Metal Worker, having previously completed his apprenticeship and advanced level training.

He’s going to take us on a whistle-stop tour of his career so far and the development opportunities offered to him through the Grow Our Own scheme at Universal Wolf.


Josh, let’s start at the beginning – what attracted you to the world of sheet metal working?

I’m not built to work in an office – I’m much too loud and always on the move! I knew from the off that a desk-based role wasn’t for me. I’ve also always been a team player, so I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to work closely with my colleagues.

Fabrication is something I’ve always had an interest in from a young age, whether that be with Lego or building stuff with my dad.

Welding is such a noisy, vibrant environment and it immediately caught my eye. There are so many different welding processes – Mig, Tig, stick, flux core – and I loved the idea of being able to stick two bits of metal together.  I’m a very hands-on person and there’s a definite satisfaction in seeing the various metal components come together as a finished customer product, because of your work.

I completed my Apprenticeship and Advanced Level qualifications with South Tyneside College in 2013 and with a further 6 years’ experience I then joined Universal Wolf as a Sheet Metal Worker in 2019.

Can you tell us a bit about how your career has progressed since you joined us?

After 8 months as a Sheet Metal Worker, I moved into our New Product Introduction department, working closely with our customers to understand their requirements. It was my job to identify economies and opportunities to streamline – for example, removing excess weld or adjusting the build order, creating jigs and fixtures, writing the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for colleagues to follow once a product moves into Production.

Following my time in NPI, I progressed into a Technical Expert role. A Technical Expert is the first point of call for any issues that might arise on the shop floor – for example, if a colleague is struggling to interpret a technical drawing or complete a particular element of their work.

How did you move into your current role as Team Leader in Training?

Universal Wolf has an excellent colleague development program called Grow Our Own. It gives colleagues opportunities for continued career progression within the business. Through the program, I applied for and was successful in achieving a Team Leader in Training position. This is a fantastic fit for me as it allows me to combine my two main passions and skills – working as part of a team and supporting my colleagues, and the technical skills I’ve built up over the years.

In the short time I’ve been with the business (4.5 years) I have quickly moved up through job roles. This wouldn’t have been possible without the Grow Our Own scheme and I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.

What do you most enjoy about working at Universal Wolf?

For me, aside from the Grow Our Own programme, it’s the people. Universal Wolf isn’t like any other company I’ve experienced – it’s got the pack feeling. We’re all one big team – whether you are on the front-end meeting customers, or the person loading up the transport at the end of the process.

What would your advice be for someone who is thinking about applying for a Sheet Metal Worker role with us?

Apply straight away, you won’t be disappointed! I travel 20 miles each day, but the travel is worth it when you’re working for a great company. I can’t recommend it enough!


Universal Wolf is actively recruiting for Sheet Metal Workers and Fabricators. To view our current vacancies and apply, visit our Careers page. 


Read more about how we’re Growing our Own to tackle the engineering skills gap

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