Northern Ireland’s future engineers secure apprenticeships with CDE

Pictured are CDE apprentices Shea McErlean, James McErlean, Rian Molloy, Anton Bell, Niambh McNulty and Eoghan Canavan.

Industry-leading wet processing equipment manufacturer CDE has recruited 14 new apprentices from across Northern Ireland to nurture and upskill the next generation of engineering talent and innovative thinkers in the industry.

At the company’s headquarters in Cookstown six new apprentices have been recruited. Part of a four-year programme run in collaboration with South West Regional College, the apprenticeship programme consists of a split between time in education and time in employment at CDE.

Gaining valuable insight into every stage of the CDE operation, which provides a full EPCC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning) service, every apprentice works in assembly to gain practical knowledge of the equipment before progressing into other areas of expertise, such as the design of its bespoke projects commissioned worldwide.

Today, almost one-third (30%) of its global Design Team is made up of graduates from its successful CDE Apprenticeship Programme which is responsible for the design of almost 2,000 wet processing plants across the globe.

Meanwhile, at the company’s Monkstown manufacturing facility in Antrim, CDE has also partnered with Northern Regional College to tackle skills shortages and equip apprentices with traditional engineering skillsets such as fabrication.

Here, it has taken on eight new apprentices.

Pictured are CDE apprentices Dean Hamilton, Bailey Webster, Dominic Finn, Craig Bowers, Kane Gibson, Jack Melaugh, Ben Taylor and Ryan McMillan.

Sean Kerr, Chief Operating Officer at CDE, said it is an important resource for the company as it equips future recruits with the skills and knowledge to lead the way in the wet processing industry.

“Many of our former apprentices are the driving force behind some of the most ambitious and significant projects we have delivered in recent years,” he said.

“An important part of CDE culture is to support and encourage innovative thinking. Our CDE Apprenticeship Programme provides young people with the opportunity to play a significant role in the future of a local company and the development of its pioneering technologies.”

Testament to its success, the programme boasts a 100% retention rate for all apprentices who have progressed on to full-time roles in CDE.

In recent months, in recognition of his achievements, Apprentice Design Engineer Joe O’Neill, who joined CDE in 2015, won the Apprentice of the Year award at the 2019 Made in Northern Ireland Awards which recognises manufacturing excellence across a broad range of industry. Following his success, Joe progressed to the final of the Made in the UK Awards 2019 where he was announced as overall Apprentice of the Year in a hotly contested category featuring finalists from across the UK.


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