Union Industries, the UK’s leading manufacturer of industrial high-speed doors, has launched a new apprenticeship programme to develop its future workforce of skilled engineering specialists.

Working in partnership with Bradford College, Union Industries has developed the new programme utilising its Apprenticeship Levy contribution to establish a long-term, sustainable approach to its workforce development.

Following a series of open days at its factory and headquarters in Hunslet, Leeds, the company undertook a rigorous recruitment process to select a group of five young people who have become the first to embark on the programme.

In addition to gaining the necessary practical skills and qualifications to be part of the production process of Union Industries’ industrial doors, which are used in locations such as warehouses, factories and distribution centres across the UK, the apprentices are also being supported in their future financial planning.

As an Employee Owned business, the workforce each own a share of Union Industries and can receive a tax-free dividend bonus at the end of each year. The apprentices will have their dividend split between a pension scheme and their bonus.

The apprentices, who are aged between 16 and 19 all bring an enthusiasm for engineering, which they have developed themselves or through family ties.

Kenneth Peddie, 19, left Leeds UTC last year and after applying for various apprenticeship schemes with no success secured his place on the Electrical Engineering apprenticeship Level 2 with Union Industries. Kenneth’s passion for engineering sparked when he was younger after working with his grandfather who was a Mechanical Engineer.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Holly Proctor from Silsden is pursuing a career in engineering. Like Kenneth, Holly, 19, is on the Electrical Engineering apprenticeship Level 2 at Union Industries, following one year of experience working on CNC machines.

Lewis Horner has joined the company after spending two years at Elliott Hudson College, Leeds where he completed A Levels in Chemistry, ICT and Product Design. Lewis, 18, from Cleckheaton, is hoping to secure work as a Mechanical Engineer with the company on completion of his apprenticeship.

Immediately after finishing his GCSE’s, Luca Robinson, 16, joined Union Industries for the Mechanical Engineering Level 2 apprenticeship while James Cage, 17, spent a year at Leeds City College studying Engineering before securing a place on Union Industries Mechanical Engineering Level 2 apprenticeship.

Managing Director of Union Industries, Andrew Lane said:“I am thrilled to introduce our new apprenticeship programme and welcome our enthusiastic new apprentices. They are already showing a passion for the business that is very much a part of the culture at Union and we are confident they can become valuable members of our team.

“Union Industries has a strong manufacturing heritage to build on, which is why we are committed to developing our future workforce with apprenticeship training that can ensure we can develop a pipeline of talented people that can maintain the high quality of the products we manufacture.”