FLOODSS of jobhunters are expected to put their names forward after a giant firm announced plans to take on apprentices.
Caterpillar, in Peterlee, is continuing its plan to invest in the future by taking on 12 extra people – and it is expecting more than 1,000 to put their names in the hat.
The contract to find the new recruits has gone to East Durham Business Service (EDBS) for the second year running. Last year, it was tasked with finding 10 apprentices and more than 500 people applied.
It comes after the Mail launched the Work in Progress campaign to highlight the plight of jobseekers in Hartlepool and east Durham.
Latest figures show there were 4,627 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Hartlepool and 3,272 in the Easington constituency.
EDBS chief executive Peter Chapman said: “It is an unmissable opportunity to work for a brilliant company and I know we will have a tough process on our hands considering the level of excellent candidates we had last year.”
The selection process will be exactly the same as last year when EDBS whittled the initial applications down to a final 30 and bosses at Caterpillar handpicked the successful candidates. Caterpillar Peterlee HR manager Chris Fairs said EDBS had been key to finding the best candidates last year.
He added: “It’s important to invest in young talent and we are using our success to do so.”
The firm’s apprentice manager Fred Felton said: “We have 35 apprentices in our 1,300 workforce and are looking forward to recruiting another 12 from the North-East.”
Places are avaialble in fabrication and welding, painting, toolmaking, maintenance and auto-electrical.
Training for all apprenticeships will take place at colleges in Hartlepool and Sunderland.
Caterpillar designs and manufactures articulated dump trucks for the mining and construction industries around the world.
Jobseekers have until Monday, June, 4, to apply. After that, EDBS will begin the process of short-listing the CVs.
Bosses at Caterpillar are expecting more than 1,000 applications to flood in.
Mr Chapman said: “We have an excellent track record in sourcing apprentices for businesses throughout the North-East. We are delighted to be working alongside Caterpillar and I would like to take this opportunity to wish every applicant the best of luck.”
Once the deadline for applications has passed, those shortlisted for interview will be notified and interviews for all positions will start on Monday, June 11.
The final 30 will attend a prescribed assessment day in July, with the chosen 12 beginning their apprenticeships with Caterpillar at the end of August this year.
The apprentices will all receive training from Sunderland College and Hartlepool College of Further Education for four years which will run concurrently with their work at the Peterlee firm.
Applications for all of the Caterpillar Apprenticeships can be made via www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
Anyone wanting more information or advice on how to apply should contact EDBS on (0191) 5863366 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org