Precision engineering specialist in largest apprentice drive

Leicestershire-based JJ Churchill is celebrating its 80th year in business by recruiting the highest number of apprentices in its history.

Andrew Churchill (L) with apprentices - image courtesy of JJ Churchill.
Andrew Churchill (L) with apprentices – image courtesy of JJ Churchill.

JJ Churchill recruits new apprentices most years and the majority of its workforce has an apprenticeship background.

This year, the firm took on four new engineering apprentices, following the largest recruitment drive in its history.

The company currently employs around 130 people, and manufactures high precision gas turbine components for the aerospace industry, as well as high horsepower diesel engine components and assemblies.

Chief executive, Andrew Churchill explained: “We couldn’t have been so successful for the past eight decades without the hundreds of apprentices who’ve come through our doors and gone on to be great engineers.

“Most are local – we’re part of the community in Leicestershire and we’re proud that we could invest in the region and give people a great career in engineering. We could bring people in with the skills already, but giving young people those opportunities instead is important to us.”

The engineering skills body, Semta, helps businesses to set up successful apprenticeship programmes and is encouraging other smaller organisations to follow JJ Churchill’s lead.

Its chief executive, Ann Watson commented: “JJ Churchill is a shining example of a company doing exactly the right thing.

“We’ve got a big skills gap in the UK – we need two million more engineers by 2025 – and apprenticeships are an extremely cost-effective way for organisations of all sizes to future proof their business by growing their own talent.”

Andrew Churchill added: “Without our fantastic workforce – almost all of whom have been apprentices – we couldn’t have been in business for eight decades now and still be going strong. We train the best engineers and they stay with us, meaning we can plan for the long term, unlike some other companies where the turnover is much higher.”

“This year we’re taking on four new young apprentices because we know, as technology changes more and more rapidly – these are the engineers who will be best placed to adapt and make sure we’re successful in the future.”