AN engineering company has reaffirmed its commitment to training young people by taking on 20 apprentices at the end of a year when staff numbers soared to record levels.

Cordell Group, which has sites across the region, including its Stockton head office, has a long history of developing local talent via apprenticeships and university graduates.

The firm, formed in 2000 following a merger of Darlington Engineering and Cordforth Group, works with industry sectors including petrochemical, chemical, oil and gas, steel and power generation.

Loading article content

It employs about 700 staff across nine UK sites, with 570 of them based in the North-East. This year saw staff numbers reach an all-time high and included 76 apprentices.

Cordell’s portfolio now includes structural fabrication, pipework services, research and development and machine and offshore services.

With support from the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), the company is helping the latest crop get a foothold on the jobs ladder.

The new intake is being trained in a wide range of skills including instrumentation, pipefitting, machining, welding and plating. Don Atkinson, regional account manager for ECITB, said: “Once again Cordell has attracted new apprentices who will be developed and qualified over the next four years to Secure Engineering Construction Skills for now and the future.”

Sam Fleetham, Cordell training manager, said: “Taking on these apprentices is a great testament to every member of the team who are working hard to ensure that the business thrives.

“Cordell has always recognised that apprentices are our future and have always had a significant apprentice intake each year.

“This philosophy is echoed from managing director down to the shop floor personnel, which is seen by the support the apprentices receive from all levels of management during their apprenticeship.

“With high levels of youth unemployment, it’s important that local businesses create as many opportunities as possible for young people to give them the necessary skills to help them and the region compete in a global economy.”

It has been an eventful year for Cordell which saw it buy electrical installation firm STS and the Aveco marine engineering business, and open a new machine shop.