James Simpson, 19, who has worked at Pyroban for two years, will begin a mechanical engineering apprenticeship next month, after the Dolphin Road, Shoreham, company pledged to offer a place, in conjunction with Northbrook College.
And James said he cannot wait to start in his new role.
He said: “I’ve been through informal training with Pyroban and have been here for two years now, but this apprenticeship offers me the chance to get a formal qualification.
“I do all the jobs the other guys do, and I learn a wide range of different skills.”
The two-year course naturally leads on to the degree-equivalent Higher National Certificate course, which James hopes to complete.
He said he enjoys the work at the firm – a role he did not imagine he would be doing when he left school.
He said: “Working here is different and challenging.
“It’s interesting, and keeps me busy. It’s something which is definitely worth going into, especially if you are more interested in hands-on and practical work.”
He said: “When I was at school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. There wasn’t much about apprenticeships available.”
James is Pyroban’s first apprentice under the Northbrook College initiative.
If the apprenticeship goes to plan, the company may look to recruit more in the future.
Julia O’Gorman, from Pyroban’s HR department, said: “We put James through our informal training programme and it didn’t really work for us or for him,
“This is an ideal opportunity to really look at our programme and extend it further.”
James is just one of the scores of apprentices which Northbrook has recruited in its campaign, in conjunction with the Herald and Gazette.
This week, the total places confirmed or pledged shot up from just over 60, to 83.
The Northbrook team is now appealing for 17 more pledges, so it reaches the target total of 100 places.
Businesses and organisations interested in helping Northbrook reach its target should contact apprenticeship manager Brenda Cook on 01903 273167 or email [email protected]