Since 2008 the Birkenhead shipyard and engineering firm has spent £18m on 250 apprentices and the latest intake takes that to 270 trainees and £19m. Tony McDonough reports
Shipyard and engineering business Cammell Laird is investing further £1m in 20 new apprentices – taking its total investment in training young people to £19m.
Birkenhead-based Cammell Laird will put the 20 apprentices on a four-year training programme at a total cost of £250,000 a year. It takes the total number of trainees recruited since 2008 to 270. It aims to take on an extra 20 each year.
Chief operating officer Tony Graham said: “The sky is the limit for apprentices here at Cammell Laird with many of our senior management including myself and our chief executive John Syvret starting their careers as an apprentice.
“The message we want to give young people, their parents, schools and colleges is that an apprenticeship offers as much opportunity as a university degree. At Cammell Laird you can start your career learning on the job, giving you the skills and training required for a high achieving career.
“You can become productive quickly and you will be financially better off than many young people going to university as you are effectively being paid to learn rather than having to get into debt.
“Then the apprenticeship is designed to secure a well-paid skilled job on completion with the company. We should also emphasise that by joining Cammell Laird you can help make a genuine difference to our community.
“Cammell Laird’s success helps underpin job and wealth creation on Merseyside and we’ve been able to generate £350m for the local and UK economy since 2013 employing 1,500 direct and indirect workers and 300 small business suppliers at peak times.”
Mr Graham added this year’s intake is drawn from across the Liverpool city region and all the recruits are aged between 16 and 27. The new apprentices will be divided into mechanical fitters, pipefitters, platers and welders.
“We want to issue a positive message built around Cammell Laird’s future order book with customers such as the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the Royal Navy and BAE Systems – we have lots of work over the next 10 years,” he said.
“But there is a skills gap in Merseyside and in the maritime industry. We cannot find all the people and skills we need so we are having to invest into training the next generation hence why we really want schools to get behind the job opportunities here.
“We have shown by building RRS Sir David Attenborough that Cammell Laird is back in the ‘premier league’ of shipbuilding, building iconic world-famous ships. And the new group of apprentices were able to board the new polar ship for the recent Royal ship naming with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge which sent a very strong message to them about the opportunities they have at Cammell Laird.
“We have been working with our partner the Engineering College, which neighbours the shipyard, on recruiting the apprentices who will now undertake their training at the college. We urge more young people to follow our apprentices and think of a career in engineering and maritime and join us on our upward trajectory.” year stronger and stand a great chance of securing an apprenticeship with greater understanding of what we are looking for.”