JCB is pumping £3.5 million into recruiting more than 100 new young people in 2012, while a set of 16-year-old triplets start their apprenticeships at the same JCB factory.
The digger manufacturer is investing in a new ‘Young Talent’ programme that will see 103 young people join from September, either as graduates, sponsored undergraduates or apprentices.
The Rocester-based company is more than doubling the number of apprenticeships in the UK in 2012 as well as launching a brand new Higher Apprenticeship Scheme in September with the opportunity to study to degree level.
The announcement comes as 16-year old triplets Jack, Katie and Liam Rowe started apprenticeships at JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. They are all training to be welders.
Miles Pixley, JCB’s HR manager for Technical Excellence and Core Skills, said: “We are implementing our ‘Young Talent’ programme against a back-drop of success with our existing graduate recruitment programmes which have had 100% retention over the past five years. The 103 new apprentices, graduates and undergraduates who join us later in 2012 are the future lifeblood of JCB and will build us into an even stronger company in the future.”
Graduate training programmes will focus on developing expertise in powertrains, manufacturing, engineering, business and finance.
Mechanical and electrical maintenance, tool making, and welding and fabricating skills will be developed in the youth programme.
Apprentice quality engineers and fitters will also be recruited. In addition JCB will offer internships to another 27 young people during 2012.
The Rowe triplets are Level II apprentices receiving training in fabrication and welding and are being trained in all welding disciplines, completing their apprenticeships in June next year.
“We’ve had a great reaction since we came to work here and everyone has been really helpful, giving us tips and advice on different techniques,” said Jack Rowe. “I’d love to stay on and rise to become a team leader.”
Katie, who is JCB’s only female welding apprentice, said: “Everyone was surprised to hear that we were triplets and at first they didn’t believe us.”
Heavy Products operations manager Mike Mitchell said: “The advantage of recruiting at this age is that you can train to the high standard that a global business like JCB needs. All three are doing very well and getting a thorough grounding in core welding techniques.”
The triplets’ father Dave, 47, who worked as a nightshift team leader at JCB Heavy Products when the triplets were born, commented: “We are so proud of them and they are very lucky to have apprenticeships at a company like JCB. It’s amazing now to think that 16-years later, all are training to be welders at the same factory.”