Apprenticeships lead to full-time jobs for trio of ex-servicemen

James Curtis-Dawson, Craig Buckle and Derek Hornsey. Pic: Doug Moody Photography.

James Curtis-Dawson, Craig Buckle and Derek Hornsey. Pic: Doug Moody Photography.

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Three former servicemen are among the first in the country to “pass out” of a pioneering new project aimed at setting the standards of apprenticeships.

Craig Buckle, James Curtis-Dawson and Derek Hornsey are the first in the UK to successfully complete the new Science Manufacturing Technician (SMT) Apprenticeship at Level 3 as part of the Government’s Trailblazer programme.

It aims to make all apprenticeships employer-led.

The talented trio did training which included a year at Lucite’s Cassel site at Billingham, which is the powerhouse of the company’s Europe, Africa and Middle East Methacrylates business.

They also did a year’s training at Tees Valley organisation TTE. They have now been taken on by the acrylic manufacturer as full-time production technicians.

Craig said: “The new apprenticeship has really helped us to be job-ready for the roles we now have.  

“All our colleagues at Lucite helped us immensely and gave us great support throughout our training as we progressed towards the apprenticeship.”

Lucite has around 250 employees at the Cassel site where it makes products which are processed into acrylic materials with applications including in kitchen and bathroom units, shop and road signs, mobile phone screens, flat screen TVs, paints and adhesives.