Three young people are making going for coal their career goal after landing places in the latest apprenticeship intake at Banks Mining.
Max Anderson, of Red Row, along with Jake Adkins, of New Hartley, and Owen Carr, of Ashington, have been taken on as apprentices at the Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines near Blagdon.
The three new recruits will now undertake a three-year training programme leading to qualifications up to NVQ level three.
As well as on-site work, the bespoke apprenticeships include a study programme at Northumberland College.
About 140 workers are employed at the Shotton site, alongside a further 60 at Brenkley Lane, and the two sites are estimated to jointly contribute more than £35million a year to the regional economy through wages, investment and supply chain orders.
Banks Plant Assets Manager John Welsh said: “Giving young people opportunities to make their way in our industry is absolutely vital if the region is going to have a sustainable workforce that’s properly equipped with the practical skills that businesses like ourselves need to operate and compete.
“We invest a lot of time and resources into finding the right candidates to join our apprenticeship programme, and both the calibre and characters of those we’ve been assessing has been very impressive.
“Jake, Owen and Max are all bright, enthusiastic young men who showed a high degree of mechanical and personal aptitude in the interviews for these positions and we’re confident that they will be able to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.”
“The training and development resource we’ll be offering our new recruits will not only help them gain skills that will serve them well while they’re working with us, but also right through their working lives, and it’s especially pleasing for us to be able to give young people from nearby communities this chance to start building successful careers for themselves.”