Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Aerospace firm hunting for two young high-flyers

Family-run business Crossen Engineering is searching for two apprentices in response to the Belfast Telegraph’s 100 Jobs In 100 Days campaign.

The firm, which specialises in the aerospace sector and employs 25 people, is working with training provider Engineering Training Services (ETS) to bring in new talent.

Managing director Paul Crossen, whose father Derek founded the company more than 30 years ago, said: “We have found recently that sales have risen quite dramatically and engineering as a whole has risen.

“We found we were short on staff and were keen to put apprentices in place and further train them in the company.”

The company is training two apprentices and wants to hire two more.

Mr Crossen said: “We found that it’s quite hard to find someone with a lot of experience and looking to the future we thought we could train apprentices and make a future for them.”

The apprentices will be involved in CNC machining and other tool room manufacturing activities. They will be working on products for the aerospace sector with other trained members of staff.

The apprenticeship will last for four years so that apprentices can gain a Level 3 qualification in mechanical engineering. Crossen manufactures and supplies metal-pressed, high temperature alloy components for aero engines for a US contract.

Closer to home it also supplies B/E Aerospace, Thales Air Defence and Bombardier Shorts with other components.

Once chosen, the newcomers will be employed by the east Belfast-based firm.

Crossen is operating in a buoyant sector of industry.

Aerospace companies with bases in Northern Ireland, from Canadian-owned Bombardier to Denroy Plastics, were at the recent Farnborough Air Show in England.

The event was the backdrop to a number of major orders for the aerospace sector. China Express Airlines made an order for six of Bombardier’s Challenger jets, worth around $260m (£166m).

Bombardier’s Belfast base makes the centre fuselage, engine nacelles and flight components for the jet.

A report last year by Northern Ireland trade body Aerospace Defence Security said that firms in Northern Ireland had contributed 7.1% of total UK aerospace output.

ETS is going through candidates’ CVs for the posts at Crossen and confirmed that anyone interested in an engineering apprenticeship should contact it on 028 9182 2377.

How the initiative works

Apprenticeships usually take between two and four years, depending on the complexity and the number of qualifications required. It also depends on whether you are offering a Level 2 or a Level 3 apprenticeship. Wages are agreed between the apprentice and employer, but the minimum wage applies. Employer incentive payments are available of between £250 and £1,500 on completion and come from the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) but are paid through the training supplier. An employer will be told about the potential incentive when they sign up to an apprenticeship programme. For under-25s, DEL undertakes to pay full costs of ‘off-the-job’ training included in the ApprenticeshipsNI framework and contributes 50% of the funding for those aged 25 and over.

Join the campaign

If you are a business owner or chief executive interested in bolstering our young people's life choices by creating an apprenticeship, please email BTapprentices@gmail.com and we will let readers know of your interest. You should also find out about the government Act for apprentices of a minimum of 21 hours per week. The apprenticeship can also be created for an existing member of staff to give them more training. You will have to come up with a personal learning plan. If you’re looking for an apprenticeship, positions are usually advertised in the same way as other vacancies, so you apply as you would for any other job. Your local training supplier can also advise. Training suppliers are listed on the website www.nidirect.gov. uk/apprenticeshipsni.

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