A core aim at pioneering Oxfordshire manufacturer Integration Technology Ltd (ITL) to support and encourage local school leavers interested in engineering careers took a further step forward this month with the arrival of first inductees in the company’s new Higher Research and Development Apprenticeship Scheme.
Jay Shadbolt and Ali Rehman are attending the leading UV light solutions developer’s UK headquarters at Upper Heyford near Bicester from Abingdon College where both are initially studying for a BTEC qualification in Electrical & Electronics.
Completing City & Guilds Level 4 qualification in four years time, the two are enjoying vocational training at ITL to underpin their studies on a day-release basis until April 2015 when attendance at Upper Heyford increases to four days a week.
Says ITL chief technical officer, Jason Smith: “Ali and Jay are doing a great job of managing a steep learning curve right now.
“They’re learning how to assemble complex products, diagnose faults and repair, study analytical testing, and also have exposure to improvement projects, design and manufacturing processes, logistics and all the other departmental functions that comprise a dynamic international business like ITL’s.”
Ali, 19, from Oxford, and Jay, 18, from Chipping Norton, are enjoying the pace at ITL and the opportunity to experience different aspects of how the business works in order to ascertain where their core strengths lie.
“When you’ve just left school, you don’t really know where you fit in a business until you actually are in it,” says Jay.
He already feels that his skills base is geared to circuit design, while Ali finds a growing affinity with the electro-mechanical design side of the company, adding: “this is a great opportunity for us both find our way in careers that could last a lifetime.”
The ITL Higher Research and Development Apprenticeship Scheme can lead to permanent site team roles or even ultimately to production or engineering management for the two trainees.
“For the company, this is all about growing our own talent and bringing on and developing experts in our business,” says Jason.
“Ali and Jay won selection to these new roles in the face of tough competition and we’re very pleased to have them on the team.”