Yorkshire-based bus and coach specialist training 20 apprentice HGV technicians

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As part of its ongoing commitment to nurturing talent in the transport sector and developing its team, Yorkshire-based family business Pelican Engineering is training 20 apprentices within its 160-strong Castleford workforce, despite the disruption of the pandemic.

It has recruited six apprentices in 2021 and plans to recruit a further six young people next year.

The 102-year old company, which partners with some of the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturers to supply leading edge commercial vehicles, coaches and buses, is continuing to see sustained growth and is expanding its team.

Working with vehicle manufacturers DAF and MAN, it supports apprentices through a structured three-year training scheme which comprises on-the-job training working with a time-served technician as well as two-week blocks of ‘classroom’ learning. After completion, the apprentices are qualified as Level 3 HGV Technicians.

Richard Crump, managing director of Pelican Engineering, comments: “We started our training scheme almost 20 years ago, recognising that, with the shortage of skilled labour in the sector, we needed to be proactive and develop people with the skills we required to secure the future of the business.

“The initiative has proved extremely successful, not only equipping a whole generation of HGV technicians with the skills needed to pursue a rewarding career, but also bringing vital new talent into the industry.”

Paul Bugg, group services manager at Pelican, adds: “Working with some of the world’s leading commercial vehicle suppliers, we have been able to develop a first-class training programme, including some apprentices being trained on electric commercial vehicles. We have also adapted to offer apprenticeships within our zero emission passenger vehicles division having this year appointed our first apprentice to train on our state-of-the-art Yutong electric buses.

“It’s great to see so many young people with enthusiasm and potential coming into the business and also choosing to make a career with us – around 70% of our apprentice technicians go on to secure permanent positions with Pelican.”

Twenty-year-old Josh Waring of Featherstone (pictured,centre front), a third-year apprentice body shop technician, explains why he joined Pelican. “I’ve always been interested in mechanics, my dad works in the body shop at Pelican so I’ve grown up hearing about the business.

“The people here are really friendly and helpful, it’s a great place to learn and I’m excited to have the opportunity to enter such a good trade. I know that as a qualified HGV technician, I can make a good living and have a secure future ahead.” 

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