Tees Components has increased its cohort of apprentices with the addition of two new positions as the heavy machining expert continues to grow its workforce.

Nieve Williams, 17, and Aaron Oakes 16, have joined the company as part of the annual recruitment of apprentices, to fill positions created by the continued growth of the company as well as retirements.

During the first year of their four-year advanced apprenticeships, Nieve, who is from New Marske and Aaron, from Skelton, will be based initially at the STEM Centre at Middlesbrough College, which will work very closely with Tees Components in providing tailored training for apprentices working towards NVQ Level 2 qualifications.

From the second year, where they will work forward gaining a Level 3 qualification, the apprentices will be based within the Tees Components recently developed £100,000 specialist training and development facility, learning specific skills in precision CNC machining and general mechanical engineering, giving them the long term skills to support the future growth of the business.

The additional trainees will take the company’s total number of apprentices to seven, strengthening an ethos reflected by the fact that over 40 percent of the current workforce started their careers as apprentices.  The company, which has a strong recruitment and retention rate, also offers a work experience placement to every school and college in the area, meaning that as many as 14 young people are able to spend a week at Tees Components, latterly going on to apply to Tees Components’ apprenticeship scheme.

To support the training programme for apprentices, the company recently invested in a dedicated training centre at its site in North Skelton. The 19th century building, a former milling shop for an ironstone mine, has been kitted out with STEM-standard equipment, including seven training stations featuring manual and CNC lathe turning, manual and CNC milling, surface grinding and bench work. The centre also includes two new machine tools – an XYZ CNC and DRO manual mode milling machine and Colchester Harrison M300 manual lathe.

The new apprenticeships were created with the ongoing support of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, alongside the Tees Valley Combined Authority Apprenticeship Support Grant, introduced in February 2020 and designed to assist employers who are committed to creating new Apprenticeships or progressing their existing Apprentices onto a higher levels of Apprenticeship.

Managing Director Sharon Lane – who herself swapped studying a degree full time for an apprenticeship in engineering, said: “Apprentices have always been absolutely crucial to the ongoing business at Tees Components.  It’s essential that we continue to invest in the high level of skill required within the business, and it’s great to see apprentices develop in confidence over time as they move up through the company to become highly-trained mechanical and electrical engineers.

“We are always really well supported by our training partner, Middlesbrough College, who give us a lot of advice on what funding is available, and it’s been really good to have the backing of the authorities, particularly following the dramatic decline in apprenticeship creation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We are very appreciative of the support provided by the Tees Valley Combined Authority schemes and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, which has been instrumental in giving us that incentive and the extra degree of security to be able to continue with our plans for recruiting apprentices.”