A new, unique partnership between a world-leader in mineral-based speciality solutions and nationally acclaimed college has seen the introduction of an innovative new apprenticeship scheme for Cornwall.

The new partnership between Truro and Penwith College and Imerys will see 12 learners start their Level 3 Engineering Technician (Mechatronics Maintenance Technician) Apprenticeship at the college’s new multi-million-pound STEM and Health Skills Centre in Bodmin this September.

The highly advanced four-year apprenticeship programme will recruit six to eight learners annually, directly tackling Imerys’s need for highly skilled professionals, allowing the firm to grow its own talent, address skills gaps and succession plan for an ageing workforce while providing quality entry-level careers in mid-Cornwall. The partnership has also seen Imerys consulted on the state-of-the-art facilities available in the STEM and Health Skills Centre’s Engineering department, ensuring world-leading quality is carried through in all Engineering training at Truro and Penwith College’s Bodmin Centre.

Working with Imerys to ensure the apprenticeship programme and the skill set of its learners suit business need, the college has added bespoke elements to the apprenticeship that will see learners spend their first quarter studying and training at the college full-time, in readiness for maximum impact when they enter the workplace and continue their studies on a gradually reducing scale.

Nick Tillyer, institute of technology development leader at Truro and Penwith College, said: “The college is thrilled to formally announce this innovative new partnership that not only benefits Imerys’s apprentices but all Engineering learners attending the new STEM and Health Skills Centre in Bodmin. The college is always striving to work with the very best employers and as a world-leader in its field Imerys is no exception. It’s incredibly pleasing we’ve been able to continue to innovate and with our partnership approach add bespoke elements and adaptations to the Apprenticeship programme to maximise results for Imerys.”

Apprentices will find themselves working in a quality career in Cornwall, supporting the upkeep and maintenance of large technical plant and machinery at the world-leading mineral-based specialist, operating in dozens of markets from advanced ceramics, building materials and infrastructure to animal care, crop production and cosmetics.

Mark Hewson, Imerys UK director added: “Apprentices are the lifeblood of a large, complex operation such as Imerys. Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn helps to shape the future of our organisation.

“We offer an incredible range of opportunities for young, aspiring Engineers. I can think of countless valued team members who began their careers here at Imerys as an apprentice and have stayed for 20, 30, 40 years in some cases. Due to the scale of our operations, here in Cornwall but also across the UK and globally - the sky really is the limit for the right person.”

The college is accepting applications from those interested in starting their apprenticeship journey in September 2024.

Employers and learners can access help, advice and express their interest in starting a programme by contacting [email protected]