FIVE youngsters have been chosen to start apprenticeships at Sheffield engineering specialist DavyMarkham after a staggering 350 applied.
The lucky teenagers demonstrated a “genuine passion to work in the heavy engineering sector” says apprentice training manager Peter Kerfoot.
Sheffield Forgemasters had 260 applications for 20 apprenticeships, from 70 a year ago.
Applications to university from young people in Yorkshire have shown the biggest fall in more than 30 years, down by more than 17 per cent on last year, as tuition fees rise.
The apprentices will cost DavyMarkham £100,000 annually.
Peter Kerfoot said: “This new crop of motivated and talented young people is an essential investment for our continued success and these bright individuals soon start to contribute and bring their own ideas to projects.
“The successful applicants were chosen for their real aptitude following a rigorous assessment day, one-to-one interview and a visit to the plant.”
The recruits are based at DavyMarkham’s Darnall factory which features computer-controlled machine tools and the ability to handle complex components weighing up to 350 tonnes.
The apprenticeships last up to four years and will include mechanical and electrical maintenance, fabrication and welding, machine shop and production fitting. The recruits will study for City and Guilds or B-Tech National Diplomas in engineering.
Peter said: “DavyMarkham’s future depends on well trained and highly skilled people and a robust apprenticeship scheme is vital to the company’s ability to compete in an increasingly competitive international market.
“This new crop of motivated and talented young people is an essential investment for our continued success. Many of our previous apprentices have become highly valuable members of our team.”
John Watson, production director at Davy Markham said: “Companies are providing quality training and paying people each month to do it. They can have a wage and not get into debt and come out with a career.”