Allied Glass, the glass bottle manufacturer, is investing in the next generation of engineering talent with the intake of apprentices.
. The West Yorkshire company has hired eight bright young prospects aged between 17 and 24 for the four-year training programme in mechanical and electrical engineering.
The company designs, develops and manufactures luxury glass packaging for customers including many of the world’s best-known spirits brands and a growing number of craft producers.
Allied Glass chief executive Alan Henderson said: “Technology is advancing and automation will play an increasingly important role in production. “But the world will always need hands-on engineers who can solve problems in a creative way.
“Our new machines must be installed, commissioned and maintained and as we invest more in machinery, engineers will become more important.
“We believe that manufacturers have an essential part to play in securing the supply of engineering skills for the future of the UK economy. “We are creating a pool of talent for the benefit of our sector and wider society. We are showing young people that they can have full and rewarding careers in engineering.”
The new recruits went through a competitive and rigorous selection process, including aptitude and personality tests and interviews. The company sets high entry requirements and each has a minimum of five GCSEs, including maths, science and English, at grade C or above.
Charlie Roberts, 19, from Leeds, said: “I am starting at the bottom of the ladder and I am working my way up.” Victor Mpute, 20, from Leeds, said: “It is a better alternative to university. I am getting practical experience and I am earning as well.” Alex Gonchev, 24, from Knaresborough, said: “I had a few jobs before this but nothing serious. Now my career potential is as good as I make it.” Ryan Smith, 17, from Castleford, said: “Engineering was always for me. This is the best opportunity for an apprenticeship.” Luke Langton, 19, from Knottingley, said: “Glass is forever, it is not going to die out. We are learning everything about it.”
The new recruits have impressed their managers with their passion, enthusiasm, willingness to learn and ask questions and punctuality. They are working with experienced employees who are mentoring their young charges in all aspects of work at Allied Glass.
Mr Henderson said: “We are keeping a close eye on their personal development and making sure they have interesting assignments to work on. “It is satisfying to watch as they transition from adolescents into responsible young adults with a lot to offer. “If they continue to work hard and learn on the job, they will have lots of opportunities to progress through the company.”
Allied Glass is funding the programme through the Apprenticeship Levy, a Government initiative for employers with a wage bill of £3m and over. The company has 620 employees in total. It typically added one or two apprentices per year but took a strategic decision to significantly increase the intake as part of its growth plans.
Allied Glass is an independently owned premium glass bottle manufacturer. It designs, develops and manufactures luxury glass packaging for customers including iconic international spirits brands and a growing number of craft producers of whisky and gin.
The company has state-of-the-art design and production technology.
Innovation and speed to market are both to Allied’s successful glass bottle design offering, along with a flexible manufacturing capability and a bespoke service that provides customers with a personal approach to new product development. It operates manufacturing facilities in Leeds and Knottingley and a design, decoration and storage site in Wakefield.