Siemens has opened a new facility which will function as a junior factory for apprentices.
The junior factory, located at the company's facility in Congleton, will be run by a mixture of commercial and technical apprentices aged between 16 and 21.
The apprentices will take on key leadership roles and be in charge of the factory's progress.
Initially the factory will be responsible for the assembly of parts which were previously imported. The apprentices will be responsible for supply chain management, resourcing the factory, ensuring that customer demands are fulfilled in the most cost effective way and creating an annual budget plan.
Head of the junior factory, apprentice Richard Lawton, said: “I never thought that as part of an apprenticeship I would be given the opportunity to take on this level of responsibility - not just training and learning but actually running the facility as a business. I am really looking forward to working with the team members and making the project a success over the coming year, and learning about how running a full assembly line works in practice.”
Roland Aurich, CEO of Siemens UK and Ireland said: “This is a really innovative project, and the aims are very clear - let’s train up our young apprentices for the long term challenges they will face in their careers whilst fostering a culture of innovation, autonomy and crucially - entrepreneurship. We need to make a bold statement in Siemens and across industry - be an engineering apprentice and you can go from the shop floor to the top floor and schemes like this help young people understand how an engineering apprenticeship can lead to a rewarding career.”
Minister for skills, Matthew Hancock, commented: “This ground-breaking project is a great opportunity for tomorrow’s engineers to get the training and experience they need to establish a successful career. The Junior Factory demonstrates the great contribution apprentices can make to businesses and is a fantastic example of how we can innovate to plug skills gaps and help the UK get ahead in the global race.”