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East Midlands Chamber News

JCB recruits 170 apprentices

a JCB BackhoeJCB has announced the recruitment of almost 170 apprentices and graduates as the company steps up investment in its Young Talent programme to record levels.

This year, the Staffordshire-based company is ploughing £7.5m into recruiting young people to the business to help meet future growth – triple the amount invested in the scheme when it started four years ago.

Of the 168 people who are joining JCB, a total of 117 are apprentices – the biggest ever single intake of apprentices in the 71 year history of JCB. A number will be higher apprentices who will go on to take degrees, learning while they earn and avoiding the need to incur costly student loans. The apprentices started work this week.

It brings to £20m the amount the company has invested in its Young Talent programme over the past four years – an initiative which has seen around 550 graduates and engineers join the business.

The news comes as JCB prepares to open up applications for its 2018 programme on Monday, October 2nd. Information will be available via the JCB website (www.jcb.co.uk).

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford started his career as an engineering apprentice in 1962 before joining JCB in 1964. He said today: “Young people are the future of our company and investing in young talent is vital as the company expands. I began my working life as an apprentice and I’m delighted to see a record number of apprentices joining JCB this year. It’s a fantastic way to learn skills vital to our business, progress to degree-level study and to advance to senior roles in the company.”

The 117 apprentices joining JCB are on a range of programmes from Level 2 upwards. The latest recruitment drive has seen a significant increase in the opportunities to develop welding and assembly skills which are essential to the UK manufacturing business. These options are attractive to new employees entering work from education for the first time, or those from other sectors with work experience who are looking to learn a new trade and apply what they have learned through their daily work.

The number of opportunities to join the higher apprentice programme has also been doubled enabling 20 places to study up to degree level for those who have attained either A-levels or a Level 3 apprenticeship. This programme has been specially adapted to meet the technology needs of the business and supports careers in mechanical, manufacturing and electrical engineering.

In addition, 24 undergraduates with mechanical, electrical, electronic and software skills will also begin work in September, along with 27 graduates from a range of disciplines. They will gain in-depth knowledge of technical and commercial aspects of business operations on programmes which include design, manufacturing, powertrain, purchasing, sales and marketing.

Group Training Director Alan Thomson said: “JCB is expanding quickly and launching a range of innovative and exciting new products. We are ambitious to grow the business and the record level of investment in this year’s Young Talent programme is crucial to our future.”