ROCESTER-based digger giant JCB has welcomed its first intake of apprentices trained at the JCB Academy as it creates more than 100 jobs for young people.
Last week marked a milestone for the company as the vision for the Academy to create the engineers and business leaders of the future started to become reality as 15 students began careers at JCB itself as apprentices.
The students made up 15 of a total of 55 higher, advanced and craft apprentices to join the world-leading company.
This week 30 graduates covering manufacturing, powertrain, business and purchasing disciplines also start work, which are in addition to 18 engineering undergraduates, sponsored by JCB, who joined the company last week for their year in industry.
The apprentices, graduates and undergraduates have been recruited as part of a £3.5 million investment in a Young Talent programme.
JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford, described as the inspiration behind the setting up of the JCB Academy, welcomed the firm’s new recruits.
He said: “Investing in new talent is vital for the future success of any business. I’m particularly pleased to welcome JCB’s first recruits from the JCB Academy where they have benefitted from working on real-life engineering projects to prepare them for the world of work.
The 15 academy school teenagers now working at JCB are 16 and 18-year-olds who first went to the £22m facility when it opened in 2010.
The JCB Academy, based around the Grade II listed Arkwright’s Mill in Rocester, has specialised in engineering diplomas as well as GCSEs and A-levels.
JCB Academy Principal Jim Wade said: “The JCB Academy was established to develop employability skills among young people and to enable them to achieve great academic and technical qualifications.
“We are really pleased that many of our young people are moving on to apprenticeships with many of the key employers across the region.
“These young people are leaving the Academy with the core skills they need to have successful and fulfilling careers within the engineering industry.” Among the JCB Academy students to be taken on by JCB is 16-year-old Josh Machin, who will specialise in electrical engineering at the firm after only receiving his GCSE’s last month.
He said: “I originally came to JCB on work experience and thoroughly enjoyed it as the work I was involved in was really interesting.
“I then applied for an apprenticeship and I’m delighted to get this opportunity to work with the same team who looked after me on work experience.”