Peterlee firm offers lucrative chance of a career

Fabrication welders and young apprentices have a chance to join the workforce of a growing engineering company.

Wednesday, 10th August 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:37 pm
D&S Services 'apprentices' with co-director Mark Kelly centre

D&S Services has lined up an informal day where people can come along to its site in Peterlee.

And the company, which has a long-standing commitment to recruiting young talent, is hoping apprentices as well as time-served welders will attend.

The networking-type event is being held on August 23, from 10am to noon, and those who come along will get the chance to talk to company bosses and hand in a CV for consideration.

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Bosses say they have been directly affected by the North East’s engineering skills gap, and want to do their bit to change the future of the sector.

The bulk of D&S’s 29-strong workforce have an apprenticeship background and even two of the company’s co-directors, Andrew Gaskins and Mark Kelly, were apprentices at the start of their careers.

Co-director Alastair Tennant said: “We have invested heavily in apprentices over the years, we really do believe in them and are happy to invest in them for the longer term.

“Basically, taking on an apprentice means you can mould them to exactly what you want, while at the same time giving that person a specialised skills set and a future.

“However, as we have grown as a company over the years, we have noticed that the skills just aren’t there - the skills gap in the region is real and we want to continue to do our bit to change that picture by continuing with the apprenticeship positions we have always offered here.”

The company, he said, would “love to meet people interested in pursuing an engineering career, and this is why we’re holding this event, as a different way to meet someone who could potentially start to work for us and carve out a successful career for themselves.”

Lewis Campbell, 20, from Peterlee, started as a welding/fabrication apprentice last year. His apprenticeship is set to last for three years.

He said: “I went to college to do fitness instructing but I really didn’t like it, it wasn’t for me, so I started doing engineering, which I liked. On the last day of college my lecturer said a company called D&S Services was moving into the area and handed a CV in for me.

“A week later I was offered an apprenticeship and was able to go back to college, while working, to do a Level 3 apprenticeship in engineering.”

He added: “I’m really enjoying it and I would recommend the apprenticeship route to anyone, it’s by far the best thing I’ve done.

“You’re always doing something different and there are so many different paths you can go down.”