A Warwickshire electronics manufacturer is keeping it local to secure its future workforce.
Brose, which makes mechatronic systems and electric drives for the automotive industry, has taken on 10 young apprentices to work at the plant on the Bayton Road Industrial Estate just outside Coventry.
The company employs more than 19,000 staff at 53 locations in 23 countries.
Its UK operation is growing its 210-strong workforce and the youngsters were recruited as the 100 in 100 campaign run by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and the National Apprenticeship Service, got into full swing.
The apprentices have now all started work at Brose and – according to managing director Steve Wilkins – could form the lifeblood of the company for years to come.
He said: “There is a talent pool in our industry which exists in Coventry and Warwickshire but it is not that deep and with the growth of the sector in recent months it is proving difficult to hire skilled staff with experience.
“But we have always thrived on local talent – most of our staff live within 10 miles – and we want to develop more.
“We need to secure our future talent and the best way to do that is to grow it ourselves. We have worked with Midland Group Training Services in Coventry to recruit the apprentices and they are now in post.
"They are eager to learn and are showing signs of wanting to progress with Brose in their careers, which is just what we want to happen.”
The apprentices are working in various departments in maintenance, quality, logistics and general commercial administration.
Mr Wilkins added: “I started as a trainee with Jaguar Land Rover and my technical director Gary Breakwell did the same with Peugeot so we really do value apprenticeships very highly.”
Brodie Cullinan, aged 20, has started a three-year apprenticeship in supply chain management after leaving Trinity School in Leamington with A-levels in business, German and psychology.
“I have really settled in well. I am working in the logistics and purchasing department,” he said.
“In logistics I am involved in the booking in and out of stock, moving stock in the warehouse, planning levels of stock and arranging transport.
“In purchasing it is about controlling the stock levels and buying general every day goods so there is quite a lot of responsibility and I am enjoying it.
“I would recommend apprenticeships because you are gaining the experience of working especially at Brose because there is a wide range of departments and a number of people teaching you and you are also learning from experts.”
Mr Cullinan is following in the footsteps of Jonathan Matthews, aged 31, who joined the company as an apprentice in 1998 as a maintenance electrical engineer and he was taken on full-time when his four-year apprenticeship was completed.
Mr Matthews, who lives in Cheylesmore, said: “I trained at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College one day a week and went to Tile Hill College for one week a month and the rest of the time I worked at Brose repairing and installing machines.
“I then studied for my BTEC national diploma in electrical engineering and I became a full-time member of staff.
“It is a varied job – you don’t do the same thing every day and there are always plenty of new things to learn and there’s new machinery to get to grips with.”