A manufacturer in Huddersfield is urging young people to kick-off their careers by choosing to be an apprentice.
Syngenta, which employs more than 400 people at its manufacturing facility on Leeds Road, recruits apprentices every year across its operations in engineering and process manufacturing.
All of its apprentices have fully employed status and will take on key roles within the organisation on completion of their apprenticeship. Several have already progressed into more senior roles on site.
Ian Nunn, a learning and development facilitator for Syngenta, who manages the company’s apprentices in Kirklees along with colleague Nigel Wright, said: “Apprentices are hugely important to our business.
“For us, they are not a short-term fix but a long-term solution to recruiting high quality individuals into our business, giving them the skills they need and then allowing them to have a career with Syngenta that benefits both them and us.
“We pay our apprentices well from day one because we want them to be treated equally like any other employee.
“They provide us with stability and continuity plus the opportunity to grow our business while at the same time growing their own careers.”
Syngenta, which makes crop protection products for use around the world, received 130 applications to join its apprenticeship scheme this year. And Mr Nunn said the quality of those signing up was increasing all the time.
He said: “Apprenticeships offer a genuine alternative to the traditional route of going from school to college to university and while there will always be a role for graduates in businesses like ours, we want becoming an apprentice to be something more and more young people consider and more and more schools promote to their students.”
One of the apprentices now working at Syngenta, Maariyah Rawat, of Batley, started with the company a year ago after getting her A-level results.
She said: “I wanted a hands-on job where I would be working and learning and also didn’t want to come out of higher education with a lot of debt.
“Syngenta are committed to ensuring apprentices are treated just like any other employee and if you put the work in and commit to it fully they want you to stay with them for your career – keeping the skills they have helped you develop within their business.
“My message to young people thinking about what to do with their results now or in the future is to consider what you really want and whether higher education is the best route for you and your career.”
Kirklees is one of eight Apprenticeship Hubs in the Leeds City Region promoting the benefits of being and taking on apprentices.
Businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees – and who have not taken on an apprentice in the last year – can take advantage of a £1,500 grant to support their recruitment as part of the scheme.
Businesses interested in finding out more about taking on apprentice can call 01484 437075 or e-mail email@example.com