When you arrive into Huddersfield by road or rail, you can’t fail to notice the huge chemical manufacturing plant that spreads for 250 acres on land off the town’s key Leeds Road corridor.
It is one of the main UK bases for the global chemical manufacturer, member Syngenta and 400 employees work across the sprawling, high-tech site.
Dozens of these workers are apprentices, the company takes on an additional 20 every year, and they are committed to giving young people opportunities to learn the skills they need to be the leaders, engineers and technicians of the future.
Getting onto their apprenticeship scheme is not easy, they receive six times the number of applications than there are positions, but that reflects the firm’s commitment to ensuring that anyone taken on is recruited for the long term.
For Syngenta, an apprenticeship is the start of a career and Maariyah Rawat, one of the firm’s current apprentices, says that was the attraction to her:
“I began my apprenticeship with Syngenta a year ago after getting my A-level results. 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.
“For me, that was the huge attraction of not delaying my career to go to university for three or four years but starting on that journey immediately.”
Ian Nunn runs Syngenta’s apprenticeship scheme. He’s someone who has spent his whole career with the company so knows the value of training, experience and skills learnt by doing the job:
“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.
“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.”
Kirklees is one of eight apprenticeship hubs that have been set-up in the Leeds City Region. The aim is to help business thrive and grow through apprenticeships and, to achieve that, help and support for businesses is available through the Business Brokers scheme.
To find out more contact the Business Brokers team on 01484 437075 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.