Aspiring young engineers are being urged to take advantage of a unique opportunity to get their foot in the door.

Thanks to a partnership between Redcar-based manufacturer ElringKlinger (GB) Ltd and Northern Skills Group, the Routeway to Engineering Apprenticeship will see a handful of students prepared for life as engineers.

The 12-month programme has been launched to find the next generation of talent and will mean a selection of full-time students receive sponsorship from ElringKlinger, including regular progress visits from the firm’s staff, work experience and tutoring in the basics of engineering.

Andy Buckworth, executive director of STEM technical training at Northern Skills Group, explained: “This is a brilliant opportunity for students who have considered a career in engineering, equipping them with a solid basis on which to become an apprentice.

“ElringKlinger is rightly investing in its future skills, and this type of pre-apprenticeship programme is exactly the right approach to make sure engineers are building important competencies early on in their careers.”

Successful candidates will spend 12 months on the programme, during which time they will also act as brand ambassadors for ElringKlinger– wearing the same clothing as full-time workers.

From the Routeway cohort, several students will then be recruited on to the three-year ElringKlinger Technical & Engineering Apprenticeship Programme at the firm’s Redcar site.

Apprentices will split their time between ElringKlinger’s facility and Middlesbrough College, gaining formal qualifications and hands-on experience across the firm’s different departments.

The programme can lead to specific roles such as apprentice tool room technician, apprentice setter operator and apprentice quality/metrology engineer, among others.

Ian Malcolm, managing director at ElringKlinger (GB) said: “Addressing the skills gap in the industry has always been high on our agenda as a manufacturer and significant employer in Teesside.

“Apprentices account for almost ten percent of our workforce and we put great emphasis on our apprenticeship programme which sees us recruit emerging talent annually to explore a career at ElringKlinger.

“The Routeway to Engineering Apprenticeship has been developed to give a younger generation insight into working life, which we see as an essential part of the education blend to fully prepare students for apprenticeships and future engineering roles.

“They will get the unique opportunity to think, act and represent ElringKlinger in the same way as our full time employees do.”

ElringKlinger is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers and provides technologies to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, and develops new drive technologies and electro-mobility systems.

ElringKlinger (GB) has been in the Tees Valley for more than 50 years and has invested in future engineers for a number of years.