A RECRUITMENT drive for engineering apprentices has been launched in a college partnership with a pioneering cable company.

This collaboration between Ayrshire College and XLCC marks the inception of a new green industry in the UK, after the establishment of its first factory at Hunterston.

The partnership brings to the forefront a unique cable-jointing apprenticeship programme, supported by the college-based and work-based learning of Ayrshire College’s engineering modern apprenticeship training programme.

This programme combines specialist welding training, electrical engineering knowledge and qualifications as well as work-based learning in welding.  

Cumnock Chronicle: The programme provides specialist training for engineer studentsThe programme provides specialist training for engineer students (Image: Ayrshire College)

A key component of the apprenticeship is an eight-week immersive training course at the SÜDKABEL jointing school in Germany. Apprentices develop essential skills working on Medium Voltage (MV) and High Voltage (HV) cable samples, preparing them for a successful career in the industry.

Upon returning to the UK, apprentices will receive on-the-job training and certification at XLCC's state-of-the-art facility in Ayrshire.  

Alan Mathers, business operations director at XLCC said: “The Arkwright Way facility in Irvine gives XLCC the platform to deliver a very high standard of training for our apprentices, with a focus on cable jointing skills development.

“Our dedicated training centre will help ensure that the apprentices have the necessary expertise to execute the jointing process effectively and efficiently when within our Hunterston factory environment. 

“We are proud to be playing a central role in stimulating economic growth in North Ayrshire and making a positive difference to community life. 

“We are delighted with the engagement from Ayrshire College and their willingness to include cable manufacturing modules into their Performing Engineering Operations course.

“Completion of this course is a springboard towards a successful application for a modern apprenticeship with XLCC supported by the college.” 

Cumnock Chronicle: A key component of the apprenticeship is an eight-week immersive training course at the SÜDKABEL jointing school in GermanyA key component of the apprenticeship is an eight-week immersive training course at the SÜDKABEL jointing school in Germany (Image: Ayrshire College)

XLCC has recently announced the leasing of a unit at Arkwright Way in Irvine to serve as a dedicated training facility. The training centre is expected to be operational by June 2024, offering a bespoke environment for apprentice training. 

Candidates with a Performing Engineering Operations qualification are encouraged to apply, as this foundation provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for success in the programme. 

This initiative is not just a milestone for XLCC and Ayrshire College but also a significant boost to the Ayrshire economy, with the company promising to bolster the local workforce with 900 skilled employees. 

Stuart Millar, head of apprenticeships and work-based learning at Ayrshire College said: “XLCC’s Modern Apprenticeship is a unique and innovative solution designed to support the company achieve their enormous growth potential in transmission of renewable energy.  

"This is a huge opportunity for Ayrshire’s young people, and we are delighted to support their apprenticeship programme.” 

For more information about modern apprenticeships, visit Ayrshire College's website at ayrshire.ac.uk/business-and-training.