New apprentices to start in Siemens’s Newcastle base

New apprentices to start in Siemens’s Newcastle base

AT least 36 apprentices will start work in Siemens’s Newcastle base in September as part of a UK recruitment drive.The European engineering giant has announced it will recruit 160 apprentices at sites across the UK, with more than half taking on roles involved with green technology and renewable energy.The company will also be creating 100 new graduate posts, which will be based at factories and offices in Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Poole, Motherwell, Llanberis, Oxford and Lincoln.Roland Aurich, chief executive Siemens plc and north west Europe, said: ‘Creating industry-ready skills and giving the confidence of aspiration to young people from all walks of life is critical to address the serious skills shortages we face in industry.’At Siemens we support the UK Government’s efforts to re-balance the economy with increased focus on manufacturing and engineering.’The announcement came as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited the Siemens Gas Turbine Plant as part of a one-day trip to Berlin. The factory makes gas turbines for cycle power plants, and Clegg and Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable met apprentices being trained at on the site.Clegg said: ‘Today’s announcement is fantastic news. Apprenticeships give young people an invaluable opportunity to learn on the job and allow employers like Siemens to build a workforce with the practical skills their business needs.’It’s a telling fact that Sir William Siemens himself, who founded Siemens in the UK 169 years ago, progressed from the shop floor to the top floor, having started his career as an apprentice. For too long there’s been a barely-disguised snobbery that says once you leave school, the only good thing to do is to go to university. It’s not right.’We have to value vocational education just as much as academic studies. That’s why we’re creating more apprenticeships than any government since the Second World War.’The Journal has thrown its weight behind the drive to support apprenticeships, launching its 100 Days: The Apprenticeship Challenge campaign in association with the National Apprenticeship Service and the North East Chamber of Commerce.The drive to encourage businesses to take on apprentices is about to hit a notable milestone, as nearly 1,000 new apprenticeships have been created in the region since it launched.Vince Cable welcomed Siemens’ decision to take on the batch of apprentices: ‘In the past vocational youngsters have been let down by weak courses which wasted their time and taxpayers’ money.’This Government is determined to improve the quality of vocational training and our trip to Germany will be used as a fact-finding mission to look at what we can learn from our neighbours.’Creating the right conditions to revive UK manufacturing is central to this Government’s mission as it will help create long-term growth that is balanced between sectors and across the country.’For too long the UK economy has been too focused on the City of London, so I am particularly delighted that these jobs will be created across the country in Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Poole, Llanberis, Oxford and Lincoln.’

Paul Champion

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