Campaign to kickstart another young career

An Aberdeenshire firm has joined the Apprentice 100 campaign’s roll of honour after vowing to get a talented young person’s career started.

Blackburn-based JCE Group, a specialist in electrical systems that prevent explosions in hazardous environments, will add an apprentice technician to its ranks as part of our quest to rack up 100 jobs in as many days.

The candidate will benefit from the firm’s tried and tested training programme, which has been in place for decades and can turn novices into fully-qualified technicians in three years.

Managing director Jim Craig said JCE – which also has facilities in Plymouth, Singapore and Houston – kept faith with apprenticeships at times when other sectors were turning their attention to graduates.

Mr Craig said: “Apprenticeships went out of fashion in many industries in the late 70s and 80s, which was a shame, but not at JCE group.

“We’ve always had an apprenticeship programme that has seen us take on at least two a year. We’ve had the same system for 30 years and it’s worked.”

Mr Craig said he knows the scheme is standing the test of time because many of its former trainees who have moved on to major oil and gas companies are now clients, so sure they are of JCE’s standards.

JCE’s current crop of youngsters includes Gregor Pirie, a 16-year-old from Balmedie, who got his big break in July when he became an apprentice electrical fitter.

Gregor, whose training is split between JCE in Blackburn and Tullos Training in Aberdeen, said the job was challenging at first, but that his experienced mentors are helping him bed in.

Gregor Pirie

So far he has been focusing on health and safety, as well as making up labels for the protective cases which cover JCE’s junction boxes. The next step for Gregor will be to move on to the wiring itself.

He said: “I really like the job, it’s very interesting. It’s very different from what you would find in most other jobs. I definitely prefer it to school.”

The apprentice electrical technician position will be advertised on the recruitment section of JCE Group’s website:

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