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Siemens today (March 2) advertised the first apprenticeships as part of its huge offshore wind power investment in Hull.

The company has made 14 Advanced Apprenticeships in Wind Turbine Blade Manufacture available and is urging talented people with a strong desire to build a career within the wind power industry to apply.

The apprenticeships programme will run for up to four years, leading to the apprentices gaining a NVQ Level 3 Extended Diploma in Composite Engineering and BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering. The roles demonstrate Siemens’ commitment to growing its own future workforce in Hull.

Candidates are invited to apply by March 20 and the apprenticeships will begin in September, when Siemens’ Hull blade factory moves into production. GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above in maths, English language and science are essential, with Level 2 ICT an advantage. Siemens has stressed the attitude and aptitude of candidates will be a key factor.

Carolyn Woolway, Siemens’ Head of Human Resources for the Hull project, said: “This is a major milestone for the project as these are our first entry-level positions in Hull.

“Our vision is for our operations in Hull to be driven by amazing people at all levels and in all roles. That applies especially to these apprentices, as they are our future talent.

 “We’re expecting a very high level of interest in these positions and we’ll be looking for candidates with the x-factor – people who are enthusiastic about manufacturing and engineering, have a genuine commitment to the apprenticeships and can also demonstrate initiative, drive and the ability to think creatively.”

The apprenticeships are the first of their kind for Siemens in Europe and the company says more apprentice opportunities will become available in a variety of roles after the facilities in Hull become fully operational.

The first year of the scheme will be college-based locally, during which the apprentices will begin studying towards their technical qualification and take part in Siemens’ new Hull-based training programme in manufacturing skills using composite materials. Siemens’ blades are a composite of balsa wood, glass fibre and resin.

In the second year the apprentices will complete their BTEC on day release at college, while getting a thorough knowledge of operations within the factory by being rotated around placements within production departments. The final up to two years of the programme will involve working in a dedicated manufacturing role.

Mrs Woolway added: “An apprenticeship is a great opportunity to earn while you learn and it’s the best way to get a thorough grounding in our business.

“It can open the door to a hugely rewarding and fulfilling career and a world of opportunity within Siemens.

“These apprentices will join us just as the blade factory becomes operational and we expect them to be with us for many years to come, having built fantastic careers and made a tremendous contribution to Siemens.”

Siemens has run apprenticeship schemes in the UK for more than 100 years and currently employs 500 apprentices, the majority of them within its 13 existing UK factories.

The announcement of the first apprentice positions was today welcomed by local MPs and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has championed the development of skills to support inward investment and the growth of the region’s economy.

Alan Johnson, MP for West Hull and Hessle, said: “This is another important step along the road towards having a world-class manufacturing company in Hull, providing well-paid work for adults and training opportunities for our youngsters.

“These apprenticeships are another manifestation of Siemens meeting its commitment to training the local workforce for the jobs it is providing.”

Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, whose constituency includes the Siemens development, said: “This latest stage of recruitment from Siemens is a welcome step forward for the city and shows the importance of this investment to the fortunes of east Hull.

“These apprenticeships mean young people in Hull and the surrounding area will get their foot on the ladder and receive vital training and skills to progress their careers.”

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP, said: “A great deal of work has taken place in the background by the LEP, local authorities and education providers to prepare the region for the new jobs coming from investments in offshore wind.

“This latest stage of recruitment by Siemens offers a great opportunity for people to gain skills and qualifications in manufacturing and engineering with the prospect of an excellent career in the Humber.”

The announcement of the apprenticeship opportunities is further evidence of Siemens delivering on its commitment to build new skills and a pipeline of local talent. As part of this, Siemens has awarded a £1 million contract to Hull College Group which has enabled the conversion of a college facility for the initial training of the blade factory workforce and to build skills for other industries and employers.

With partner Associated British Ports (ABP), Siemens is investing £310m in Hull to create a world-class and world-scale centre for offshore wind manufacturing, assembly and logistics. Siemens will employ around 1,000 people at the city’s Alexandra Dock, the majority within the blade factory. Hundreds of additional jobs are being created during the construction phase and in the supply chain.

In addition to the apprentice positions, Siemens has also advertised more than 30 new jobs in Hull, including for Production Operatives, Maintenance Team Leads, Planners and Purchasers.

Details of the apprenticeship vacancies and other opportunities currently available with Siemens in Hull can be found at www.siemens.co.uk/hulljobs as well as here on the Green Port Hull website.

For information about the Siemens Hull project generally please go to www.siemens.co.uk/hull