BOC, the UK’s largest supplier of gases for industrial and healthcare applications, is re-focussing and re-launching its apprenticeship programme to help it meet a continuing need for technically-skilled staff.
In addition, the scheme will help young people develop the practical skills needed for engineering applications in UK industry today. Some 60 posts will be offered in the first five years of this rolling programme. The new scheme will begin in 2012 with apprentices being given placements at BOC sites across the country.
BOC, a member of The Linde Group, has a longstanding commitment to education both internally for its staff and also through involvement with the education sector at all levels from primary schools through to its graduate development programme. The new programme builds on this commitment by providing a route for young people to gain experience and qualifications in engineering-related studies.
Mike Huggon, Managing Director of BOC UK & Ireland, said: “As a major supplier to virtually every sector of the UK economy, we depend on highly skilled engineers, scientists and technicians to produce and deliver our products and services. That is why we are making a significant investment over the next five years in our apprenticeship programme. By training a new generation of engineers and technicians, we will be able to secure our own future as well as contributing to the economic success of the country.”
BOC has historically been a supporter of apprenticeship schemes with many former apprentices building a long term career with the company. More recently, the apprentices working with the company have been employed indirectly through training agencies; in some cases BOC has supported key suppliers in providing places for apprentices rather than engaging them directly. Following a thorough review of the existing provision, with the assistance of the National Apprenticeship Service, BOC has decided that it would be beneficial both to the trainees and the company to operate an internal BOC apprenticeship programme.
The new programme will offer training to NVQ Level 3, although there will be opportunities to progress to Level 4. Currently, BOC apprentices at the Customer Service Centre in Manchester are taking part in NVQ Level 2 programmes. These trainees are on an internal BOC apprenticeship scheme. The success of this scheme has reinforced the case for the more extensive BOC apprenticeship programme announced today.
BOC will be working in collaboration with local and national training providers in the education sector to deliver parts of the syllabus. Specifications for the apprentice programme are being made available to training providers early in the New Year and recruitment for the first year of direct apprentices is expected to commence early in the spring.