Specialist N. Sea engineering company Pharos Marine Sims Systems has stepped in to employ two apprentices made redundant in the final year of their training because of the oil and gas industry slump.
Engineering apprentices Tom Woodruff and Cory Newland were desperate after losing their jobs with only months to go to before completing their qualifications.
The 19 and 21-year-old sent CVs to more than 50 companies in the industry in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, following up each with a phone call.
“I only got three replies,” said Woodruff, who was working for a company that pulled out of Great Yarmouth. Two were straight ‘nos’ and the other, thankfully, was Pharos Marine Sims Systems inviting me in for an interview.”
“It had been so disheartening leaving a job with no qualifications after 18 months’ hard work at college and in the workplace.
“I was really worried because I knew how hard it had been to get an apprenticeship in the first place.”
Cory Willis, 22, who has completed his apprenticeship and is now a full-time electrical engineer, has worked in the North Sea and around the world, including the Middle East during and after his training.
Apprenticeships are key to Pharos Marine Sims Systems’ growth. Nineteen of its 34 staff began as apprentices, including several of its management team.
The company designs, manufactures and installs bespoke navigation aids offshore and onshore in all aspects of energy – oil & gas, turbines, nuclear and petrochemical.
It takes on at least two engineering, electrical installation and business administration apprentices a year and has trained almost 20 apprentices at level three and advanced level in the last 15 years in engineering, electrical installation and business administration.