A record number of young women have started work at JCB as apprentices.
Nine females have just completed the first week of their apprenticeships, almost double last year’s intake.
They have been recruited as part of the company’s Young Talent initiative, which attracted more than 1,000 applications for more than 100 new jobs for apprentices, graduates and undergraduates. A total of 59 of the new positions are for apprentices.
Since its introduction three years ago, JCB’s Young Talent programme has seen almost 350 young people join the business.
The latest recruitment drive comes after Lord Bamford underlined “identifying and nurturing young talent” in his maiden speech in the House of Lords.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of JCB’s first ever apprenticeship programme, when every recruit was male.
Group HR director Alan Thomson said today: “We are delighted that more and more young women seem to be recognising that engineering and engineering companies represent an exciting opportunity for a rewarding and exciting career.
“When JCB’s Young Talent programme first started in 2012, there was a solitary female amongst the apprentice intake.
“To have nine female apprentices this year is fantastic and we are hopeful it could mean that the tide is finally beginning to turn and that women don’t view engineering as very much a man’s world.
“We have been very busy attending Women in Engineering events and visiting schools to encourage young women to get involved and the hard work is paying off.
“We need people who can be innovative and creative, who can think for themselves and come up with the right solutions to problems whether they are male or female.
“We are delighted that more and more young women are choosing to apply for apprenticeships at JCB.”
John Myers, head of employer and delivery services for the Skills Funding Agency, said: “We welcome the great news from JCB that new apprentices are being recruited.
“The programme is truly world-class, and as well as benefitting the apprentices, it will underpin the growth in the local and national economy.”
Amy Harris, aged 18, of Kidsgrove, is a Higher Apprentice Engineer. She said: “My dad and my uncle are both engineers and I decided I wanted to get out into the world and do something different rather than going to university.
“A lot of girls shy away from things like engineering because they think it’s mainly for lads and they are a bit intimidated by it but that doesn’t worry me at all.
“I think it’s great that JCB are going out of their way to encourage more females to apply for apprenticeships.”
Alan Thomson added: “We have ambitious plans to significantly increase the size of JCB’s business in the next five years and we need talented, well-trained people to successfully realise our aspirations.
“The Young Talent programme is absolutely key to achieving future growth and the young people joining us this year will play a key role in helping the JCB team meet our goals.”
Many of the young apprentices are on general engineering programmes but others have been offered positions in a range of areas within the business.
“Last year JCB launched an Advanced Apprenticeship in Business, a first in the UK, and this year 15 young people are joining this programme.
“In addition the company offers Higher Engineering, Advanced Engineering and Craft Apprenticeships.”
Graduates cover disciplines including general engineering, manufacturing engineering, powertrain engineering, MIS, electrical and electronic engineering, business and finance, purchasing and technical sales and marketing.
Those on the purchasing, sales and marketing programmes also undertake placement at one of JCB’s factories in India, Brazil, Germany or USA.
Join us for our Manufacturing Talent Challenge on February 24 2015 at the Waldorf Hilton, London.
Discover what other manufactures are doing to ensure the skills gap is decreasing so that you can ensure your company is actively engaging with the next generation
Learn how you can develop and create your own successful apprenticeships, under graduate and graduate schemes to ensure you have the highest quality of staff working within your company
Explore how to create relationships with local schools and the local community to inspire the younger generation enticing them into manufacturing to ensure that you are creating a future workforce for you company
Gain an understanding of what other sectors in the industry are doing to fulfil their own skills gap and apply this within your own business