Future looking bright for six new apprentices

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

With an apprenticeship offer and signed contract in the bag, National Apprenticeship Week (February 8-14) will have an extra shine for these new recruits.

Whether it has been getting to grips with remote learning or, for some, even seeing their GCSE exams cancelled, it’s been an unusual year for these students.

But the future is looking bright for the budding engineers with an apprenticeship offer now confirmed.

The cohort of six are the latest recruits chosen to join the ranks of Sembcorp Energy UK apprentices at the Wilton International site, following in the footsteps of youngsters who’ve gone on to play key roles within the business.

The energy provider is linking up with NETA Training to help deliver the skills of their trade.

“It has been a strange year, but things really do seem to have worked out all right,” said Isaac Waters, who at just 16 has secured a position as a mechanical apprentice.

He is among those who left school with predicted grades after exams were cancelled in the summer.

Now just a few months into a full-time engineering course with NETA, he said: “I hoped to go on to get an apprenticeship but never expected it to happen this fast.”

Starting work next month, Isaac will be joined on site by new operations apprentices, Thomas Bate, Harry Russell, Taylor Watson, Conor Nelson and Ella Snaith.

With five NETA students among the successful cohort, NETA’s strategic business development coordinator Dave Thompson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for these learners as they start their careers.

“We are delighted to have been given the chance to work with Sembcorp to develop an apprenticeship that will help fit the needs of the business on the Wilton site.”

Sembcorp’s HR business partner Graham Taylor said: “In line with our succession plans apprentices are an absolute priority for Sembcorp and fundamental to our future business success.

“Central to our vision and aspirations is our policy of providing career opportunities to apprentices that allow them to flourish and develop to their full potential.”

Knowing the benefits first-hand, having started his own career as an apprentice, Graham added: “At Sembcorp we have former apprentices who are now shift managers, plant engineers and even a plant manager – all responsible for managing millions of pounds worth of energy generating equipment delivering electricity, steam and other vital utilities and services to our industrial customers on Teesside.”

Looking forward to getting started, NETA student Harry Russell who has just turned 17, said: “This is a massive deal for me and such a great opportunity. Because of Covid I didn’t get to do my exams in school, it came off your predicted grades. I have come a long way since then, starting college, resitting my exams in November and now getting myself an apprenticeship.”

In his second year of an instrumentation course at NETA, Taylor Watson, 17, added: “This is the best thing that has happened to me in the last couple of years. I really wanted an apprenticeship, now I’m looking forward to getting on site.”