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East Midlands Trains has recruited its first four engineering apprentices as part of the company’scommitment to invest in workforce skills and tackle potential future skills shortages.
The Derby-based train operator has recruited four local young people based at its maintenance depots in Etches Park, Derby, and Eastcroft in Nottingham whilst attending Derby College’s Engineering Academy at the Roundhouse in Derby to complete mechanical and electrical engineering qualifications as part of their apprenticeship.
The new apprentices are Matthew Taylor (18) from Mickleover, Jamie Spooner (16) from Alvaston, Callum Howling (16) and Joshua Brear (17) who are both from Long Eaton.
All four applied for the apprenticeship through the national apprenticeship service website and are delighted to have the opportunity to earn whilst they learn and gain valuable work experience on the first step of their career ladder in engineering.
Former Long Eaton School pupil Joshua Brear is the third generation of his family to work in the railways. He said: “I had wanted to follow in my family’s footsteps and work on the railway and I was really pleased to be accepted for the apprenticeship scheme.
“The railways are in my family blood and they are all really proud of me. I had considered going to university but didn’t want to be saddled with loads of debt. The opportunity to earn whilst training is brilliant.”
Matthew Taylor, a former student at the JCB Academy in Rocester, said: “I have a real passion for engineering and regard myself as very fortunate to have this opportunity at East Midlands Trains.
“We have the opportunity to learn on the job and then gain further practical skills as well as theory tuition at College so it definitely is the best of both worlds.”
Callum Howling, a former pupil at Wilsthorpe School in Long Eaton, added: “I had applied for a lot of engineering apprentices as I knew that this was what I wanted to do but to have the chance to work on the railways is brilliant.”
And former Noel Baker School pupil Jamie Spooner continued: “I have always been interested in building things and wanted a job where I could put practical skills into practice. I am the first in my family to work on the railways and am really enjoying it because we are getting all sorts of experience in different aspects of the depot’s work.”
Tim Sayer, Engineering Director for East Midlands Trains, explained the thinking behind the new Apprenticeship scheme: “These four apprentices are the first to be recruited by East Midlands Trains and we are really pleased to be welcoming them into our business.
“Derby has a long and proud heritage of railway engineering and we recognised the need to invest in the future of the maintenance side of the business – ensuring that we have the skills in place to continue our excellent track record in vehicle safety and reliability.
“The apprenticeship programme is a tried and test route to recruit and train young people and we are pleased to be working with Derby College to introduce this scheme into our business.”
April Hayhurst, Director of Employer Engagement at Derby College, added: "Companies across the industrial spectrum are recognising the business benefits of recruiting apprentices and we are delighted to be working with East Midlands Trains to support their first apprentices with nationally recognised engineering qualifications as part of their training.
"Apprenticeships are a recognised way of recruiting and training young people within a business and investing in the future - ensuring that they have the right people with the right skills to ensure the quality of the workforce long term and maintain their competitive edge."