A teenager from Belper has won an apprenticeship at digger giant JCB as part of a £5 million recruitment drive.
Jessica Burke, 18, is one of 60 young people to join the iconic Staffordshire-based manufacturer this Summer as part of the company’s highly-successful ‘Young Talent’ scheme.
During a four year programme, Jessica will learn everything from protocols in a global business environment to contractual arrangements for the supply or procurement of goods and services.
Once she has completed the course, she will choose which discipline to specialise in.
Jessica said: “It’s great to be joining an internationally-renowned company like JCB and to be part of this unique apprenticeship programme is an opportunity of a lifetime.”
More than 130 young people in total will be recruited by JCB this year.
JCB CEO Alan Blake said: “Many of the young recruits joining under the Young Talent programme will be in engineering roles but as JCB grows we also need to develop skills in the areas that are vital to support our growth aspirations, which is why the Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture is so important.
“We are an innovative company and innovation drives our thinking in all areas of our business which is why I’m delighted that JCB will be the first company in the UK to offer this innovative apprenticeship to develop the key skills we will need in the future.
“JCB has very ambitious growth targets and their delivery hinges on having the right skills in place. By increasing the intake on the Young Talent programme by almost 25 per cent in 2013, we will see a record number of young people join the business in a single year.
“This investment is vital to the future success of JCB and will strengthen the highly-skilled teams we already have in place around the world.”
The latest recruitment programme follows the successful launch of the Young Talent programme last year which saw 103 apprentices, graduates and undergraduates join JCB.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “JCB’s investment in its workforce and the creation of almost 130 new job opportunities for young people, 25% more than last year, is welcome news for the company and the local area.
“Building a stronger economy will depend on ambitious companies like JCB developing high-skilled workers so that they can expand into emerging markets such as Brazil and India.”