Michelin rolls out opportunities for new engineering apprentices

Three new recruits are taking their first steps on a clearly defined career path in engineering, under Michelin’s long-standing apprenticeship programme in Stoke-on-Trent.

Launched in the city in 1927, Michelin’s scheme offers a springboard for trainees to start their career in the company, and provides opportunities to progress into senior leadership roles in the future.

The 2023 cohort will learn about electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as pneumatics, steam and hydraulics, under a rigorous programme mixing classroom, workshop and production site opportunities at the JCB Academy, as well as at Michelin’s own Engineering Training Centre and factory in Stoke-on-Trent.

The trainees – overseen by Michelin Engineering Apprenticeship Manager Paul Lovatt – will also learn about key environmental factors such as recycling materials and energy saving, in-keeping with the company’s approach to sustainability.

This year’s recruits are Charlie Sanderson, who attended St John Talbot School in Whitchurch, Alex Carter of Clayton Hall Academy in Newcastle-under-Lyme,  and Alfie Stephens, from St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy in Tunstall.

Charlie, 18, joined the programme after a week’s work experience at Michelin. He said: “Our roles require a lot of training and development and that takes time to learn.

“This is important for my future and I feel that I am having my future invested in by Michelin.”

Alex, 17, is also looking forward to future opportunities. He said “I am very keen to build up my skills in engineering, with all the career progression Michelin offers.”

The Michelin apprenticeship programme is also noted for producing generations of employees who recognise the quality of the training and roles provided at the Stoke factory.

Alfie, 16, said: “My grandad was an apprentice, who worked at Michelin from when he left school, up to his retirement.

“He’s been very supportive of me joining the company and I am really looking forward to a career in engineering.”

Former Trentham High School pupil Mike Ludford, 18, is about to enter his second year as a Michelin apprentice and is another of many trainees over the years following the family route to employment.

His father Tim – who joined Michelin as an apprentice in the 1980s – now works in IT at the Stoke site.

Mike said: “I grew up understanding that my father had a great job and so I was keen to join as apprentice too, as it fits in with my interests in engineering.

“Many engineers I have met in North Staffordshire have been a Michelin apprentice and it’s a great start to have.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first year and now look forward to starting my second year of training.”