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Engineering a bright future in East Cambs

New apprentices are continuing to discover careers in East Cambridgeshire which are helping to grow the diverse economy in the district.

During National Apprenticeship Week, the East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship Scheme celebrated bringing together Daniel Blocksage, aged 16 when he started his Intermediate Apprenticeship in September 2013 and Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas (Cobham).

Cobham is based in Cheveley, near Newmarket and is part of a global network of Cobham companies.  Cobham Antenna Systems designs, develops and manufactures niche and high quality microwave antennas for use in commercial, security and defence markets. The applications for these antennas varies from Wi-Fi networks to communicating with unmanned aircraft.

Tina Turkentine, H.R. Manager at Cobham Antenna Systems, said: “As a Company, we have always acknowledged the importance of work experience for young people to help them gain an understanding of the working world and support their studies.  We have worked with local Secondary Schools and Further Education Colleges for many years.

“The Cobham Apprenticeship Scheme goes further still as we recognised there are certain skill challenges within engineering and wanted to give young people an opportunity to acquire skills, knowledge and valuable on-the-job training to reflect this. We are conscious of our potential workforce for the future. Our Apprentices are enthusiastic, ambitious and eager to learn.  The Company will continue to invest in them with the relevant skills and knowledge to add value and help us to grow and succeed.

Councillor Tom Kerby, who leads on Economic Development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It is great to meet another highly motivated apprenticeship who is benefiting from the East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship Scheme. We all know it is vital to help our young people to find the careers which suit their skills. This is why it is more important than ever that schools and colleges work closely with our local businesses to identify those who would benefit from becoming an apprentice. This is something we aim to continue to develop in the months and years ahead.”
Cobham also took on two other apprentices as part of their own apprenticeship scheme in Engineering.  One at Intermediate Level – Amber Cartin from The County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds and one at Advanced Level – Adam Nicholson from Hills Road Sixth Form College and a previous pupil of Soham Village College.

The East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship Scheme helps to support local businesses and provide opportunities for young people by topping up the national AGE grant of £1,500 by up to an additional £2,000 if the business takes on a young person from within the district as an apprentice.

The scheme aims to help eight to ten new apprentices to find work in its first year and forms part of the district councils wider work to help support links between employers and secondary schools for the benefit of the district’s young people.

Businesses wishing to access the scheme should call 01353 665555 and ask to speak to the Economic Development team.