Nippon Gohsei launches new apprenticeship scheme

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Nippon Gohsei has launched a new apprenticeship scheme to help train its workforce of tomorrow. The Hull-based chemicals business has taken on its first-ever maintenance apprentices, building on the job creation successes of its operations apprenticeship scheme.

Nippon Gohsei has launched a new apprenticeship scheme to help train its workforce of tomorrow.

The Hull-based chemicals business has taken on its first-ever maintenance apprentices, building on the job creation successes of its operations apprenticeship scheme.

Following an in-depth selection process and working in conjunction with Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA), Sam Brett, of Cottingham, and Thomas Spencer, of Dunswell, both 16, will start their training in September.

They were chosen from a shortlist of 16 selected from 70 applicants, following an awareness day with HETA at KC Stadium in Hull.

The calibre of shortlisted candidates was excellent, and that of the applicants in general very high,” said Stephen Harrison, maintenance engineer at Nippon Gohsei, who is supervising the new intakes.

Clearly, there is an appetite from young people in the region to work in the sector and grasp what is a fantastic opportunity to progress careers in a successful, multinational business.

For us, it gives us access to enthusiastic young people who will become the skilled technicians we need to ensure the smooth running of our business.

The new maintenance apprenticeships, covering mechanical and instrument roles, include 15 months with HETA and Hull College and 18 months training with Nippon Gohsei. In all, including their time as apprentices, the new starters can expect to receive a total of five years training.

Sam, who went to Cottingham High School, said he’d always had an interest in technology and jumped at the chance of working at Nippon Gohsei.

Sam said:

All the way through school and growing up I’ve liked fixing things and seeing how they work, taking them apart and putting them back together again.

Engineering is high up the list of things to do for Tom, who’s ridden and maintained his own Quad bikes since he was 12.

I wanted to do the apprenticeships as I would learn, earn and get experience at the same time,” said Tom, who opted for an apprenticeship over sixth form.

I generally find it more interesting to do something rather than listen to someone.

The launch of the latest apprenticeship scheme piggybacks off Nippon Gohsei’s successful operations apprenticeship scheme, which has seen the addition of at least one apprentice each year into the business since it was launched in 2008.

Nine of the company’s 36 operators and shift team leaders have come up through the apprenticeship programme, creating full-time roles in manufacturing positions.

Gary Hyde, Nippon Gohsei’s manufacturing support manager, who helped set up the scheme seven years ago with HCF Catch and Hull College, said:

Having maintenance apprenticeships is a new departure for us, but the existing scheme has been so successful in providing us with skilled, reliable full-time operators it seemed the logical next step.

Before we joined forces with other local Companies for this project there weren’t any schemes specific to our industry in the region.

There is currently one apprentice on the operations side, Joshua Thompson, with Liam Watson and Harvey Rayworth having recently completed their apprenticeships and now full-time employees.

The next, new operations apprentice, Luke Whybrow, will be joining the scheme in September.

Nippon Gohsei produces Soarnol, the trade name for ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), which is commonly used as a barrier layer in food packaging and a host of other applications.

It is the UK’s only producer of Soarnol and one of only two worldwide and started manufacturing the product at Saltend Chemicals Park in 2004.

It employs 120 people, the majority at Saltend, the remainder at Marfleet Environmental Technology Park facility.