The twelve apprentices represent the next generation of industry talent and will be playing an important role in the Company’s future success as it moves into higher value markets.
They have completed the first stage of their diplomas at the Advanced Manufactured Research Centre Training Centre and are now gaining vital experience and mentoring under the guidance of skilled craftsmen.
William Cook manufactures sophisticated components, assemblies and systems for a wide range of applications, has substantial research, development and design resources and includes global energy, transport and defence groups among its clients.
The Company is just completing an extensive £21m overhaul of its factories in Leeds, Sheffield and Stanhope.
William Cook selected the apprentices on the basis of their enthusiasm for engineering and willingness to work. All are from the north of England.
Barry Swift, plant manager at Leeds, is responsible for the group’s apprenticeship and training programme.
Mr. Swift said: “They are bright young men, willing to work and with enquiring minds. They represent a vital investment in the future of our group.”
The Company is a partner in the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, a collaboration between world-leading industrial groups.
Sir Andrew Cook, chairman of William Cook Holdings, said: “I am very pleased with the progress made by our new apprentices and I believe they have great potential to become the leading designers, engineers and technicians of the future.
"British manufacturing has to understand that if it is to survive, it must plan for the future. Today's profits are all very well, but it is tomorrow's which really matter.
“If you want your company to have a future, you must recruit and train the future team. There is no time to lose.”
Shivan Morkar, 19, from Bradford, is one of the apprentices.
Shivan said: “I was very interested in subjects like maths and science at school and saw that engineering employs the same principles but is much more practical.
“My mum and dad work in banking but I want to be an engineer. I know that engineering is the best industry in Britain.
“No country in the world can compete with Britain in high quality engineering.”
Jack McAuslane, 20, from Sheffield, is another of the apprentices.
He said: “My family has engineering in its blood. My grandfather and uncle both worked at William Cook.
“The business has changed dramatically since then. Everything used to be done by hand. Now we have robotic and 3D printing technologies to meet the demands and needs of our customers around the world.
“I was overjoyed when I found out I was joining as an apprentice.”
Harrison Bonsall, 21, from Sheffield, became an apprentice so he could gain qualifications and have a successful career.
He said: “I enjoy it. The AMRC is one of the best training centres in the world. I am earning while I am learning. It is great.”
Jack Mezulis, aged 18, said: “I am working towards obtaining qualifications as part of a job which pays wages, rather than studying in full-time education and having to pay thousands of pounds of university fees.
“My family encouraged me to this. I am learning so much about engineering and the workplace.”
Adeel Hussain, 18, from Sheffield, said: “I believe that going to university would actually limit me in my experience.
“I am training to become an engineer and working with the latest machines and technology.
“I want to have a great future for my children and me.”
“It does concern me however that of the £1bn already committed for these new trains, as matters currently stand, train components will all be made in Spain and Japan.”