Blaze fires up campaign total to 150 new posts

A north-east firm which makes fire safety systems for the oil and gas industry has helped the Apprentice 100 campaign go out in a transcendent blaze of glory.

Blaze Manufacturing, whose headquarters are in Laurencekirk, will recruit an apprentice designer marking a climactic stage of our crusade to give talented young people a chance to shine.

It means we have racked up exactly 150 pledges over the 100 days of our campaign – 50% more than we set out to create.

Scotia Homes vowed to hire five trainees when it joined Apprentice 100 in October, but last week said it had actually found room for six. This extra pledge helped us reach 149 posts, before Blaze saw us hit 150.

Upon launching Apprentice 100, we called for employers in the north and north-east of Scotland to give young people a golden opportunity to train for their dream jobs.

We wanted our initiative to highlight the benefits apprenticeships can bring to businesses and communities at a time when industries that are vital to the UK economy are in the grip of skills shortages.

Apprentice 100 has now finished, but we will be writing about people who have found employment through our recruitment drive during the next 12 months.

We urge employers to keep putting their faith in youngsters by promoting and running apprenticeship programmes.

Blaze, which also has a base in Kemnay, took on its first-ever apprentice this year through the Prince’s Trust’s Get Into Oil and Gas programme. Bosses at the firm have been thoroughly impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment that their new recruit has shown.

Andrew Young, 16, first came to Blaze on work experience from Mearns Academy before being offered the trainee position, which he started five months ago.

Andrew Young

Andrew assists with general workshop duties, including loading and unloading containers and pallets, building skids, checking stock in and out and supporting the workshop technicians.

Working closely with Tullos Training, which has designed an apprenticeship specifically for the role of a workshop technician, Andrew has now embarked fully on his apprenticeship.

He said: “I’m so grateful that Blaze gave me the opportunity. My mentor, Tam Fleming, is brilliant and really good at teaching me different jobs in the workshop. Everyone at the company is really approachable and offer me help and support whenever I need it.”

Managing director Howard Johnson, who founded the company with his wife Ann in 2006, said: “We gave Andrew a chance and he has thrown himself into it. He’s young and focused. Eventually he wants to become a workshop manager.”

Mr Johnson said he thinks apprentices will have an increasingly important role to play at Blaze, which employs 32 people.


The new designer will work with Blaze’s engineering team in Laurencekirk while completing a mechanical engineering qualification at college.

The job involves creating 3D models of equipment, working on-site with clients and much more.


Apply to become an apprentice at Blaze by sending a CV to

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