Staffordshire engineering firm George Birchall Service Ltd has bolstered its support for local school leavers through the success of its latest apprenticeships.

The UK-wide building services maintenance company, which employs around 120 multi-disciplined service engineers, has continued its investment in the future by taking on four outstanding young trainees in all areas of the business.

Shaun Collier and Nick Findlay are working as engineering apprentices and Sam Cartlidge as an administration assistant, while Alice Reynolds has been given a full-time job as a customer service assistant, all based at the company’s Newcastle-under-Lyme head office.

Chris Windass, UK Service Director of George Birchall Service Ltd, which has had a thriving apprenticeship programme throughout its 30-year history, said: “Our four latest apprentices are proving to be a great asset to the company and fully justified our ongoing faith in the apprenticeship system despite the challenging economic conditions.”

“The company takes its responsibility for supporting local communities very seriously, and happily most of our apprentices go on to enjoy rewarding long-term jobs with us within the building services and heating and ventilation industry.

“One of the key success factors of the scheme is the on-the-job-training our apprentices receive from our skilled staff in the field. This is great testament to the culture of the organisation and the people who work here.”

He added: “George Birchall Service Ltd prides itself on being able to provide the majority of building service maintenance tasks utilising its own in-house engineering teams. That makes our on-going apprenticeship scheme very important for the future.”

Alice Reynolds, from Newcastle, was was taken on full time after finishing her apprenticeship, achieved her NVQ Level 2 Certificate in Business Administration after mastering the full range of office administration procedures from data management, to call logging and invoicing.

The 18-year-old, who is now studying for an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service, said: “I was thrilled to get the full-time job as I was having a fantastic time supporting the business in an area where I could exercise my interest in maths and interact with people.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was first offered an apprenticeship with a building services-related company but from the start I was treated like an individual and my opinions were valued. The experience has been fantastic and given a real structure to my life.”

18-year-old Sam Cartlidge, who lives in Trentham, is also pursuing an NVQ in Business Administration while working in admin at George Birchall Service Ltd: “Going to college to do A levels wasn’t for me as I was eager to get into the work environment. The whole experience has really boosted my confidence.”

Nick Findlay, 19, from Chesterton, originally gained a Diploma in Travel & Tourism before deciding he wanted to become a gas engineer: “I was always interested in engineering and wanted to learn a trade. I’m really enjoying working on site at industrial projects across the UK and studying for my Level 2 Certificate in Heating & Ventilation.”

Shaun Collier, aged 19, from Fenton, is also aiming for his H&V Level 2 NVQ as a gas engineering apprentice, after attaining Level 1 before joining the company.