Posted: Thursday 5th November 2009

Apprenticeships are thriving at Siemens Mechanical Drives, demonstrating the organisation's commitment to the long-term future of young UK engineers.

Two new apprentices have just been taken on by Siemens, bringing the total of young apprentices at the West Yorkshire factory, which assembles and repairs Flender gear units, to five. The students, Richard Heaton and James Perigo, are spending their first year at Bradford College studying mechanical engineering, with their second, third and fourth years being based at the factory learning how to handle and fit various types of equipment including gear units and geared motors.

Three Siemens students are already working through their second and fourth years with the company. Mike Peate is just starting his fourth year (and second year of his HNC), and Adam France and Richard Birkbeck are currently working on the 'shop floor', having been college based for their first year. They are both still attending Bradford College day release for level 3 engineering qualifications.

Bradford College curriculum team leader Geraldine McCallum commented: "All five students Siemens have recruited are a credit to their company and are positive role models for today's engineers."

It is part of Siemens' long-term commitment to training young engineers, and is particularly important as industry experiences one of the most difficult trading periods of the last 50 years.

The students' mentor is Richard Durham, who was taken on as an apprentice almost 20 years ago by what was then Flender Power Transmission, and who is a team leader on the heavy fittings side. Richard commented on the latest apprenticeships: "Getting paid to learn a trade was crucially important to me, and it's great that the company is continuing this tradition today. The apprentices get classroom and hands-on experience of real situations, and based on this training they can progress almost anywhere in the business."

Siemens trained technicians in mechanical handling work all over the world, analysing and servicing gear units in all types of environments, from sugar plants to wind turbines.

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