Water company takes on SSI apprentices

Brandon Lowther with Sam Pawlett


Two more former Teesside steel apprentices will now complete their training having been taken on by Northumbrian Water.

Both were in the final year of four-year apprenticeships when the steel plant closed.

Now with help from the steel Task Force and Middlesbrough-based training provider the TTE Technical Training Group, they have a water company rescue and will go on to finish their training.

Sam Pawlett, aged 19, from Guisborough, and Brandon Lowther, aged 20, from Middlesbrough, who are both Instrumentation Technicians, feared the worst when the plant closure was announced.

They had heard the rumours and their weekly pay packets were late but as Brandon said: “we didn’t think it was actually going to happen.”

Then they were all called into the meeting and told. “It was dreadful news and awful to see fully grown men in tears,” he added.

Brandon is based at the water treatment works at Broken Scar, Darlington and Sam at Northumbrian Water’s sewage treatment works at Bran Sands, Tees Dock.

Sam, a former Redcar and Cleveland Apprentice of the Year nominee, said: “It was terrible to see the plant which was normally so active turn into a ghost town as the dust settled.

“It’s great to be able to complete my apprenticeship with Northumbrian Water. I’m really enjoying it and I intend to apply for a full time job with the company if there’s an opportunity.”

Instrumentation Technicians maintain and monitor equipment controlling the process including pressure, temperature, level and flow.

Tracey Greener, Training Contracts Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “Currently we have 25 apprentices working with us and it’s great to be able to take on Sam and Brandon as well.

“Northumbrian Water really values apprenticeships and over the last five years we’ve been able to offer work training for more than 50 with many of them going on to work for us full time.”

Amanda Skelton, task force chair and chief executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “I’m pleased that our local businesses have been so supportive and it’s key that more individuals and companies come forward and take advantage of the funds that the SSI Task Force has to offer.”

The TTE Technical Training Group has so far placed 32 of the 51 former SSI apprentices on their books. Details about all the SSI Funds available for individuals and businesses can be found on the Tees Valley Unlimited website at www.teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk.

For further Northumbrian Water media information contact: Alistair Baker, PR & Media Manager: 0191-3016851 / 07711-793493

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