A family-run distribution company has taken on another apprentice, after growing the number of young employees at the business to its highest level yet.
Stiller Warehousing and Distribution, based on Aycliffe Business Park, Newton Aycliffe, has welcomed Keiran Jones to the team after a string of other apprenticeship success stories.
The 17-year-old recently started his level 2 apprenticeship in business administration through local training provider Optimum Skills.
He follows in the footsteps of three other employees to complete similar training programmes with the firm.
Former Sunnydale School pupil Jessica Tweddle, 23, from Middridge, recently finished her level 2 apprenticeship in business administration while Jessica Walton, 20, from Spennymoor, completed hers last year and now works in customer services. The programmes were delivered through Aycliffe-based training provider ITEC.
Ryan Bailey, 21, a former Greenfield College pupil from Newton Aycliffe, meanwhile, has been with Stiller for two-and-a-half years, since completing a level 3 apprenticeship in business administration, also through ITEC, He is now transport operator for the firm.
Managing director Paul Stiller said: “We feel training young people is critical, while also employing experienced members of staff.
“We have a fantastic balance of highly-skilled, experienced people who are passing on their knowledge and know-how to our young staff.”
Stiller now has 21 employees aged 25 or under on its books, representing just under a fifth of its 115-strong workforce.
The group also includes 24-year-old Lizzie Brophy, a former Teesside High School student from Eaglescliffe, who completed a psychology degree at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2010 and initially joined Stiller to cover summer holiday relief. Recently, she was promoted to sales executive after working in customer services.
Stiller added: “Lizzie is a fine example to show graduates that they don’t have to leave the North East to climb the career ladder.
“She came to us as a graduate in psychology and has worked in various areas of the business until being promoted to sales executive recently and she thoroughly enjoys the job.”
Stiller last year announced a 20% turnover jump to £10.5m and has recently invested £1m in a fleet of state-of-the-art vehicles, while more than £3m was invested in its 14-acre site in the last year.
The company’s premises, at the heart of Aycliffe Business Park, include a 15,000-pallet store within about 160,000 square feet, which stores for 15 customers from varying industries, including the likes of Gestamp Tallent and 3M.
Stiller is the largest shareholder in national firm Palletline, which has 70 members across Britain.