Press release

Siemens boost to UK apprenticeship programme

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Europe's biggest engineering company, Siemens, is considerably expanding its UK apprenticeship programme.

The company, which employs 13,000 people in the UK, made the announcement as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg tours the Siemens Gas Turbine Plant as part of a one day visit to Berlin today.

Siemens will recruit 160 new apprentices to start work at sites across the UK from September this year.  The move will be a substantial boost to the company’s green operations with more than half of the new apprentices set to work in green technology and renewable energy roles, including wind power projects and green energy transmission and distribution.

100 new UK graduate posts are also being created. The new recruits will be based at Siemens factories and offices across the country in Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Poole, Motherwell, Llanberis, Oxford and Lincoln - Siemens’s largest UK factory where industrial turbines are made for export.

The Deputy Prime Minister was joined on his tour of the factory which makes gas turbines for combined cycle power plants by Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable. The Ministers met apprentices being trained at the plant.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

Today’s announcement is fantastic news. Apprenticeships give young people an invaluable opportunity to learn on the job and allow employers like Siemens to build a workforce with the practical skills their business needs. 

It’s a telling fact that Sir William Siemens himself, who founded Siemens in the UK 169 years ago, progressed from the shop floor to the top floor, having started his career as an apprentice. 

For too long there’s been a barely disguised snobbery that says once you leave school, the only good thing to do is to go to university.  It’s not right. We have to value vocational education just as much as academic studies.  That’s why we’re creating more apprenticeships than any government since the Second World War. 

We have a proud history of world-leading industries in this country. By business and government working together, we can ensure we have a bright future.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

I warmly welcome today’s announcement. Siemens has an excellent record in vocational training and like us they recognise that apprenticeships can take talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into the boardrooms of our top British companies.

In the past vocational youngsters have been let down by weak courses which wasted their time and taxpayers’ money. This Government is determined to improve the quality of vocational training and our trip to Germany will be used as a fact finding mission to look at what we can learn from our neighbours.

Creating the right conditions to revive UK manufacturing is central to this Government’s mission as it will help create long term growth that is balanced between sectors and across the country.

For too long the UK economy has been too focused on the City of London so I am particularly delighted that these jobs will be created across the country in factories and offices in Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Poole, Llanberis, Oxford and Lincoln.

Roland Aurich, CEO Siemens plc and North West Europe said:

Creating industry-ready skills and giving the confidence of aspiration to young people from all walks of life, is critical to address the serious skills shortages we face in industry.

At Siemens we support the UK Government’s efforts to re-balance the economy with increased focus on manufacturing and engineering.

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, which was launched today in Berlin, will also contribute to this important shift.