Great Yarmouth engineering firm hires three young people at time of mass youth unemployment

AN ENGINEERING firm has hired three under 21s at a time when youth unemployment is at a record high.

Lion Engineering, which is based in Gapton Hall Industrial Estate in Great Yarmouth, has invested more than �1 million in new machinery in the last 18 months after a rise in orders.

The firm, which manufactures components for the onshore and offshore drilling industry, has increased capacity for work due to the investment.

Now it is giving young people a chance to prove themselves, and they say they are grateful for the opportunity.

Kyle Harman, 19, is a trainee welder at the firm.

He said: “The company is great, they look after me and I can see myself being here for a long time.

“I think more employers should take on younger people as if they give us a chance to prove ourselves, like I have, then it’s good for everyone.

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“There are lots of people leaving school with good maths and English but not much hands on work experience.

“When it comes to listening and training young people are skilled and if people give us a chance they’ll be surprised.

“I put in the respect and I get it back.” More than 991,000 youths aged 16 to 25 were unemployed between June and August, according to latest national figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Kyle, from Lowestoft, started work at Lion Engineering this summer and he is joined by trainee machinist James Shuckford, 18 of Belton, and a 20-year-old trainee welder who is set to start work on October 24.

James said: “I’ve got a lot of mates who are unemployed at the moment so I’m grateful to have this. “I’m hoping to get fully trained here. It’s good making your own money and having a bank account, at the end of the day.” Bosses at the firm say they are happy to invest in the youth of today as by putting their talent to good use they can secure the future of the company.

Jamie Walker, sales manager at Lion Engineering, said: “The introduction of a younger generation ensures that skills are not lost and are passed down to guarantee we have the expertise to fulfil our customer’s needs now and for the long term future. “Kyle and James have shown a willingness to learn and develop within the company and with on-going in-house training they will become valuable assets to Lion Engineering Services.

“We will definitely look to encourage more of the younger generation to join us as future expansions are completed.”

Lion Engineering has taken on nine new workshop staff in recent months and has invested �1 million into building an additional 5,000 sq ft workshop including new plant and machinery.

Company director Martin Brown says they are poised to spring into one of the most exciting periods of development in their 40 year history. The company continues to offer world class expertise in specialist areas such as the sub contract manufacture of precision engineered components and the development of hard facing techniques to reduce wear on down-hole tools.