Hundreds in hunt for jobs

Phil Handley
Phil Handley

A GIANT firm put 10 trainee jobs up for grabs – and got enough replies to fill them 50 times over.

Caterpillar, in Peterlee, recently advertised for ten new apprentices, and 500 people responded.

Bosses say it is an indication of Caterpillar’s success and its standing in the workplace.

Phil Handley, managing director of the plant on the North West Industrial Estate in Peterlee, said: “It is a real shame that we did not have 500 jobs to give them.”

Caterpillar’s apprentice programme has run for years, but this year’s intake has been the highest of any year so far.

Caterpillar already has 27 apprentices in place with 10 more to come.

The firm was the winner of the National Apprentice Services large employer in the North East award and is recognised as one of the best in the country for its apprentice programme.

In the meantime, the firm is enjoying success across the plant.

The workforce now stands at more than 1,000 and the order book is back at levels last seen before the recession.

One existing apprentice says he chose the firm ahead of three offers of university places because the company was so good at developing its workforce.