This month four young people aged 17-18 started work as apprentices for Greenergy on Teesside.

Maddie Byrne from Redcar and Tom Wallace from Guisborough are now both Apprentice Process Technicians and Tom Berry an Apprentice Mechanical Fitter, all three are based at Greenergy’s biodiesel manufacturing plant at Seal Sands. This follows the successful completion of past apprenticeships resulting in permanent roles for Peter Lindley and Elliot Longmore, who are now part of the engineering team at the site.

In addition Cameron Walker from Stockton on Tees has started his Process Technician apprenticeship at the Greenergy North Tees Fuel Terminal, also at Seal Sands.

This year’s apprentices have already completed a City and Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Process Operations. Over the next two years they will combine a Level 3 programme of study with practical hands-on experience, spending most of their time on-site putting theory into practice with their mentors and building the experience they need for their technical qualifications.

Maddie Byrne, Greenergy Teesside Biofuels Plant, Process Technician Apprentice said:

“I’m excited to be working on a real plant; it’s putting my studies into perspective. I’ve been shadowing the Process Technicians so far, many of whom were apprentices themselves, to understand their role and how the plant works. It’s fascinating to see it operating every day; it shows me how much more I have to learn.”

Dave Thompson, Partnerships Manager at TTE Technical Training Group, said:

“It’s great to have sponsors like Greenergy who understand the value and importance of apprenticeships. The potential for apprenticeships to lead not only to rewarding careers, but to exciting senior roles at fantastic companies, should never be overlooked when considering options post-16. Forward thinking businesses like Greenergy recognise this and help to create opportunities for young people.”

Lee Wood, Plant Manager for Teesside Biofuels, who also started his career as an apprentice said:

“Over 40% of staff at our biofuels plant started their career on an apprenticeship scheme. I really enjoyed my apprenticeship and value the early industry exposure it provided. My experience has shown me the value of learning from the bottom up and I wholeheartedly support apprenticeships as a brilliant entry into engineering.

“Learning doesn’t stop after your apprenticeship; I continued my development through distance learning and part time study while gaining practical experience working in the chemical industry. Greenergy encourages the continuous development of its employees. At our biofuels plant alone we currently have 11 members of staff studying for qualifications ranging from degrees to HNC’s and NVQ’s to specific technical certifications.”

Chris Platt, Greenergy North Tees Terminal Manager said:

“The young people we recruit today will be our future leaders, running our fuel terminals and manufacturing facilities in the years to come. We employ more than 100 skilled workers on Teesside alone, so there is plenty of scope for young people to train with us to gain the experience they need to develop their careers.

“As a company we take an active role in encouraging students to continue to study science, technology, engineering and maths because we know how important it is for our everyday operations. By encouraging the next generation of engineers we are building the foundation for a successful future both for the apprentices themselves and our operations.”