MORE than 1,000 people applied for ten apprenticeships at Sirius Minerals’ Advanced Engineering Technician programme and the first intake have now been selected.

Following a series of skills tests and interviews, the final 48 were invited to Sirius’ head office in Scarborough for an assessment day last month.

The company was so impressed by the high standard of applicants that it offered an additional five places to the ten originally advertised.

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The successful applicants attended an introduction day this week, with a tour of the multi-billion pound project they’ll be working on from September.

The successful candidates are the first of 50 engineering apprentices that will be recruited over the next four years.

All of the first intake live within the project area – in Whitby, Redcar and Cleveland, Scarborough and Middlesbrough.

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The new opportunities come as Sirius ramps up the construction of its polyhalite fertiliser project at Woodsmith Mine, near Whitby, and a tunnel to new processing and port facilities in Teesside.

The project is scheduled to reach the polyhalite seam, 1,500m underground, in late 2021 and is expected to create 1,000 long-term jobs at full production.