Sir George Buckley inspires new apprentice scheme in Sheffield

Sir George Buckley, the new chairman of Stanley Black and Decker.

Sir George Buckley, the new chairman of Stanley Black and Decker.

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The world’s biggest tool company, Stanley Black & Decker, which has a factory in Rotherham, has joined forces with the University of Sheffield to launch a apprenticeship in honour of its new chairman, Sheffield-born Sir George Buckley.

The scheme aims to offer young people a career with a global manufacturer - and a potential springboard to a glittering career like its namesake.

Sir George was born into poverty in Pitsmoor and after a difficult childhood began his career with an apprenticeship at Sheffield-based Stanley.

In January, he was appointed chairman. It came after her rose through the ranks of global business to become chairman of 3M a multi-national manufacturing conglomerate based in the US.

Sir George announced the new programme, in partnership with the university’s AMRC Training Centre, in his first visit to the factory last week.

He said: “Being here makes me feel extraordinarily warm inside. It is absolutely amazing to see friends you haven’t seen in years, and quite nostalgic to see this plant – even with machinery working that I maintained as a 17 year-old.

“I grew up only about 500 yards from the old Stanley Works Woodside Lane plant in Sheffield.

“I worked as an apprentice electrician there and variously at all three Stanley plants we had in the region in my younger days.

“My mother also worked in the former Woodside plant for 30 years and my sister for 10 years.

“For us, it was and still is very much a family company. Stanley also sponsored me for my undergraduate engineering degree program and I have deep and abiding gratitude for the company’s support of my education.

“They were responsible for setting me on the road to any success I had thereafter.”

The new apprenticeship scheme is open to local engineering students. The programme is scheduled to begin later this year, successful applicants will complete a 25-week course, and compete for the Sir George W. Buckley Award.

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