North East firms join forces to recruit 40 apprentices

Chemicals, process and engineering companies in the North East are joining forces to recruit high-level Apprenticeships to help address an increasingly ageing workforce and ever-growing skills gap.

The 10 process and chemicals companies providing the Apprenticeships have worked together in partnership with Cogent Skills, the UK’s strategic body for skills in the science industries, to create the positions.

The sales is expected to be finalised sometime during the second quarter of 2015.
Regular assessments ensure apprentices are competent to work safely and effectively.

The Apprenticeships are involved in manufacturing and maintenance, and are part of the new Trailblazer Apprenticeship standards.

The training – provided by TTE North East – involves comprehensive on and off the job training with regular assessments to ensure apprentices are competent to work safely and effectively, while gaining an industry-recognised, high-quality qualification.

Lucite International and Team Valve have already recruited, but SABIC UK Petrochemicals; Lotte Chemical; Huntsman Polyeurethanes; Invista; SSI, Johnson Matthey; Chemoxy, and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) are still looking for motivated young people that want to complete a manufacturing or engineering Apprenticeship.

Craig Hargreaves, senior trainer maintenance services at chemicals manufacturer, SABIC UK Petrochemicals and chair of the Life Science and Industrial Science Trailblazer
Group commented: “It’s a fact that the sector finds it difficult to attract and retain younger people.

“There are a number of factors for this, including competition from other companies in the process industries’ supply chain, such as the offshore oil and gas sector which has drawn on the limited talent pool.”

More information about these Apprenticeships can be found here

Consequently, SABIC on Teesside is now investing in the Trailblazer Apprenticeship scheme, designed to tailor apprentice training to chemical companies’ specific needs and to help fill the skills gap.

Hargreaves adds: “The Trailblazer scheme is enabling SABIC on Teesside to assess what skills and training we now need as an industry to maintain competitive advantage in the global market.”