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Teenager lands his dream job at JCB as part of a new apprenticeship scheme

Charlie Catallo

Company's Young Talent programme employs 60 new apprentices

A teenager whose childhood nickname was ‘Digger’ has landed his dream role as an apprentice at JCB. He has recently joined the company as part of a JCB scheme which is creating almost 130 new jobs in the UK. 

Charlie Catallo, 18, from Lichfield, is one of 60 apprentices starting work at JCB’s headquarters under the company's £5 million ‘Young Talent’ programme.  As part of the investment, the company is introducing the UK’s first ever apprenticeship geared towards international business – and Charlie is one of 13 JCB apprentices undertaking the qualification. 

Charlie said: 'From when I was about two to the age of five I was completely obsessed with diggers to the extent my family nicknamed me ‘Digger’ and mum and dad still occasionally call me by the name today.  So to be offered an apprenticeship at JCB is a dream come true. It’s a great opportunity which will open lots of doors for me in my career and will give me something to build on in the future. 

'I wasn’t 100% sure of what I wanted to do but wanted to do an apprenticeship and with JCB being a global name and an international business, there is no better place to start your career. I’m really looking forward to completing an apprenticeship which will give me an insight into all aspects of the business, although I’m particularly interested in the financial side of business and hope to be able to utilize my skills to suit the needs of JCB.'

In total JCB are creating almost 130 new jobs through their Young Talent programme. The investment will see the bulk of the new apprentices and graduates join the business this summer. In addition, undergraduates will be sponsored through their university studies and spend a year in industry working for JCB with a view to taking up roles within the company on graduation.                                      

As part of the Young Talent programme, JCB are this year launching the brand new Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture – a first in the UK. It is a Level 3 qualification with newly-designed elements to reflect the importance of support functions needed by successful global businesses. The apprenticeship will be run in conjunction with the JCB Academy and is aimed at 16-year-old school leavers. The JCB Academy has appointed Jim Bailey as director of the apprenticeship programme to oversee the delivery of the new apprenticeship. 

Alan Blake, JCB's CEO, said: 'Many of the young recruits joining under the Young Talent programme will be in engineering roles but as JCB grows we also need to develop skills in the areas that are vital to support our growth aspirations, which is why the Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture is so important. We are an innovative company and innovation drives our thinking in all areas of our business which is why I’m delighted that JCB will be the first company in the UK to offer this innovative apprenticeship to develop the key skills we will need in the future. 

'JCB has very ambitious growth targets and their delivery hinges on having the right skills in place. By increasing the intake on the Young Talent programme by almost 25% in 2013, we will see a record number of young people join the business in a single year. This investment is vital to the future success of JCB and will strengthen the highly-skilled teams we already have in place around the world.' 

Vince Cable, business secretary, commented: 'JCB's investment in their workforce and the creation of almost 130 new job opportunities for young people, 25% more than last year, is welcome news for the company and the local area. Building a stronger economy will depend on ambitious companies like JCB developing high-skilled workers so that they can expand into emerging markets such as Brazil and India. We are doing our bit to create world class talent and build a fairer society by making sure that even in these difficult economic times apprenticeship funding is prioritized.' 

Sarah Sillars OBE, CEO of Semta, the Sector Skills Council for the Advanced Manufacturing, said: 'It has been a pleasure for Semta to work in partnership with JCB to ensure that future vocational qualifications and apprenticeships frameworks meet their business needs and give young people a great career opportunity for their future. It is another excellent advancement from JCB.' 

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture has been instigated by JCB and supported by Semta and EAL, the specialist, employer recognized organization which awards qualifications for the engineering, manufacturing, building services and related sectors. 

The apprenticeship will run over four years and will cover a wide range of technical support and business functions such as process and quality improvement, maintaining business procedures and protocols in a global business environment, project management, finance, supporting technical sales and marketing and dealing with contractual arrangements for the supply or procurement of goods and services. Once the youngsters have completed their course, they will choose which discipline they wish to specialize in. 

For the first time graduates joining the Young Talent programme and taking part in the purchasing and sales and marketing programmes will undertake an international placement at one of JCB’s factories in India, Brazil, Germany or USA to give them a full understanding of JCB’s global business needs. 

Graduates joining will also cover disciplines including general engineering, manufacturing engineering, powertrain engineering, business and finance, purchasing and technical sales and marketing.  As well as the Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture, JCB also offer Higher Engineering, Advanced Engineering and Craft apprenticeships. The latest recruitment programme follows the successful launch of the Young Talent programme last year which saw 103 apprentices, graduates and undergraduates join JCB. 

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