People: Expansion for contentious probate team; JCT600 welcomes 35 apprentices; and more

JONES MYERS expertise in the field of contentious probate has been marked by double digit year-on-year growth and a further two appointments in the last three months.

The seven-strong team at the Leeds firm, led by contentious wills, trusts and estates specialist Martin Holdsworth, is one of the largest niche teams outside London.

The latest recruits are Ben Lyon, an associate member of ACTAPS who has amassed four years’ experience in dealing with contentious probate work – and Vincent Schumacher, a New Zealand solicitor who becomes dual qualified in 2017.

Mr Holdsworth said: “We have made this contentious area of law accessible to clients and referrers alike with fixed fee services and a humane approach to family disputes following the death of a loved one. We resolve matters through mediation or litigation – and always with the client’s goals at the forefront of our mind.

“Our ‘Yorkshire’ approach ensures we are frank, and we work hard to manage our client’s expectations from the outset. We also provide a number of different funding options to ensure our service is affordable for them.”


JCT600 apprenticesMOTOR retailer JCT600 is celebrating another record-breaking year for apprentices, taking on a further 35 during 2016.  

Following the acceleration of its apprenticeship programme three years ago, the Bradford-based company now has 185 apprentices working across the business in a variety of roles and is in the final stages of appointing the last five apprentices in this year’s intake.

This year, JCT600 has again offered apprenticeships at most of its 50 dealerships throughout Yorkshire, the North East, the Humber, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire for various positions including trainee service advisers, apprentice technicians and parts apprentices.  

Porsche Centre Leeds this year welcomed 16-year-old Jessica Suffield from Cleckheaton as a first-year apprentice technician. She joins Stacey Chandler, age 19, who will soon start her second year as an apprentice technician; and Jake Murrell, also 19, who is a first-year parts apprentice.

Katie Saunders, HR director for JCT600, said: “Over the last few years, our apprenticeship initiative has really gained momentum.  Every year, we look for young people who may not have any experience in the motor industry, but who do have real potential.  In return for their hard work and enthusiasm, we invest in providing a complete and structured training and development programme with regular reviews and on site coaching and mentoring as well as site and classroom learning.

“We are proud to have 185 apprentices working within the business and it is testimony to the quality of our scheme that nearly all of the young people we recruit continue to develop their careers with us following the completion of their apprenticeship.  In the spring, we will be launching our 2017 scheme and expect to be looking for another 30 apprentices to join our team.”


Rebecca Feldman William Cook RailTHE first female materials engineer at William Cook Rail is encouraging more young women to consider careers in industry.

Cambridge graduate Rebecca Feldman joined the company two years ago and is based at the Leeds factory which manufactures high-value products for the global rail industry.

William Cook Rail is a world leader in passenger bogie and coupler systems and exports 80% of its output.

Ms Feldman attended the female-only Newnham College at Cambridge University and read natural sciences, graduating in 2007.

She joined a graduate training scheme at a large steel company, where she was one of three women in an intake of 25.

Ms Feldman said: “At school and university I was always encouraged to do whatever I was interested in and enjoyed. I had supportive and inspiring teachers.

“When I started the graduate scheme, that’s when I thought I was in a minority. But it didn’t worry me. The most important thing is that you are capable of doing a good job. Gender should not matter. It would be a shame if girls and young women are put off rather than encouraged to see the benefits of working in industry.”

According to the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK needs an additional 87,000 graduate level engineers each year between now and 2020, but the higher education system is only producing 46,000 engineering graduates.

Just 8% of the UK’s professional engineers are female, the lowest proportion of any European country, according to the academy.

Ms Feldman provides technical and scientific support to the design and manufacturing team.

She said: “I would encourage girls and young women to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics at school and university. There are so many opportunities in these fields and there is a shortage of these skills.

“There is no reason why girls and women cannot succeed in these subjects and bring great benefits to teams. The more varied a team is, the better it is. Different people bring different experiences and different ways of solving problems.”

Parent company William Cook Holdings has invested £10m on new machinery and workshops at William Cook Rail in recent years as Britain embarks on the biggest railway investment programme since the Victorian era.

William Cook Holdings can trace its history back to 1840. Its founder William Cook was born 200 years ago in 1816.