The first intake of fifteen new apprentices have been selected to join Sirius Minerals’ Advanced Engineering Technician programme, starting in September this year. The successful applicants attended an introduction day today, with a tour of the multi-billion-pound project they’ll be working on.
Over 1,000 people applied for the ten positions advertised, and following a series of skills tests and interviews, the final 48 were invited to Sirius’ head office in Scarborough for an assessment day last month. The company was so impressed by the high standard of applicants that it offered an additional five places to the ten originally advertised.
The successful candidates are aged 16 and upwards and are the first of 50 engineering apprentices that will be recruited over the next four years, providing skilled and long-term opportunities for young people across the local area. All 15 live within the project area in Whitby, Redcar and Cleveland, Scarborough and Middlesbrough.
The new opportunities come as Sirius ramps up the construction of its polyhalite fertiliser project at Woodsmith Mine, near Whitby, and a tunnel to new processing and port facilities in Teesside. The project is scheduled to reach the polyhalite seam, 1,500m underground, in late 2021 and is expected to create 1,000 long-term jobs at full production.
Matt Parsons, General Manager External Affairs at Sirius Minerals, said: “We have a longstanding commitment to train a local workforce, take on apprentices and help young people to learn and progress in the careers. I’m absolutely delighted that we will be joined by our new apprentices in September.”
“Apprentices already form an integral part of our team, having taken on a number in office-based roles, and we’re looking forward to extending our apprentice team on our project sites”, he added.
The four-year apprenticeship to train Advanced Engineering Technicians will be run in partnership with Tees Valley training provider, TTE Technical Institute. It will focus on developing a sound knowledge of electrical, mechanical and instrumentation engineering principles and putting these into practice.
The new apprentices will spend their first two years at a specially provided classroom at Sirius’ Woodsmith Mine and the TTE workshop facility in Middlesbrough, before continuing the remaining two years in work-based training with Sirius Minerals in preparation for long-term engineering technician roles in installation and maintenance.
TTE Technical Institute is one of the UK’s leading providers of technical training to the oil and gas, process, manufacturing and engineering sectors, and offers training in its state-of-the-art engineering training facility in Middlesbrough.
Steve Grant, CEO at TTE said: “We are proud to partner with Sirius to support the development of its first cohort of apprentices for its polyhalite mine. Woodsmith Mine and its associated developments will form an essential part of the long-term economic prosperity of the region and create a skilled local workforce, which we are pleased to play a part in developing.”
The apprenticeship programme will re-open in late 2019 for new applicants, who will start in September 2020.