Sixteen young people are in the driving seat towards career within the automotive industry as they continue on their apprenticeship journey.

ZF Peterlee is committed to investing in the best talent as part of its plans for long-term growth.

To support that, the automotive manufacturer works with Sunderland College to recruit and train those individuals with the most potential.

The partnership has resulted in 16 people currently undertaking apprenticeships in a range of areas, including mechanical, engineering, technical, HR and business administration.

And in line with its policy of rewarding the young recruits who show the right attitude and work ethic, last year two of its apprentices, Ryan Barrow and Jack Mills, were awarded permanent contracts.

The young lads were the company’s first cohort of people recruited as part of the relaunch of its succession planning programme, back in 2015.

Ryan and Jack spent three years learning their trade within the engineering and maintenance departments respectively and after impressing, were taken on permanently.

Carolyn Bird from the HR team at ZF Peterlee said: “Our apprenticeship programme is a key part of our growth and succession planning and our intention is to always recruit young people who we believe have a long-term future at ZF Peterlee.

“We currently have 16 young people working towards their apprenticeships across the business, all recruited through our partnership with Sunderland College, and we see real potential in them.

“The challenge is for them to impress us during their learning period and if they do that, there’s every chance of a permanent contract at the end of their apprenticeship journey.

“That’s exactly what happened to Ryan and Jack – they showed real potential and were so pleased with their commitment and enthusiasm to the job and their willingness to learn and study academically. They are now studying towards HNCs.”

This week ZF Peterlee is supporting National Apprenticeship Week with a stand at Sunderland College to speak to potential new recruits.

ZF employs around 1,000 people at its North West Industrial Estate facility and is now a global leader in the production of specialist safety camera equipment. It is part of a group which is the world’s third largest automotive manufacturer, with 136,000 people employed at sites internationally.