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Siemens apprentice benefits from local college route

Siemens apprentice the first to attend Leeds City College
  • 180 applicants for single apprenticeship
  • Siemensí commitment to training tomorrowís engineers
  • 18-year-old Matthew Jackson is one of 160 apprentices that Siemens has recruited UK-wide lin the last six months.

Rugby-playing Matthew was taken on at Siemens Mechanical Drives (MD) in Leeds, in conjunction with studying at Leeds City College. Previously, Siemens MD apprentices had attended Bradford College, but the company relocated from Bradford to Leeds two years ago, so it made sense to link up with Leeds City College.

Matthew was educated at Royds School in Oulton and had wanted to study engineering at university, before he found out about the Siemens apprenticeship opportunity.

"My interest in engineering was sparked at about nine years old, when I used to mess about with bicycles and repair them for my mates. I found out about the Siemens apprenticeship through and still canít believe I managed to beat off 180 other applicants. Iím the first engineer in my family, and very proud of it."

Andrew Scanlan is Head of Faculty, Engineering, Manufacturing and Science at Leeds City College, and he commented: "We were delighted when approached by Siemens with a view to taking Matthew down the apprenticeship route and he has proved to be a very worthy candidate for the company as he is progressing extremely well. From the Collegeís perspective, itís really positive to see companies like Siemens supporting the revival in engineering apprenticeships, to ensure the country secures its future as a strong manufacturing base. This is just the start as we hope to continue to develop our relationship with Siemens for many years to come."

The collegeĎs Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations course was compressed from 36 weeks to 18, and Matthew was one of the first to complete the full course within the allotted time frame. He is now studying one day a week at the college for a BTEC National Diploma, which is a two-year course.

"Iím finding much of it very straightforward, having done maths, physics and product design at A level, and I think my interest is heading in the service engineering direction Ė like wind turbines or the heavier side of industry. Iím really enjoying the hands-on experience and Iím glad now that I didnít opt for the university route."

Matthew is being mentored by another apprentice, Mike Peate, who joined Siemens in September 2006, completing his apprenticeship in May 2010. As Matthew concluded: "I really feel part of the team here Ė and itís a great team."