A NORTH East engineering company has hit the bullseye after employing two Olympic hopefuls as its newest apprentices.
Gateshead-based Express Engineering have brought on Brandon Mulvey, 17, and Liam Thirlaway, 18, who are avid rifle enthusiasts and have their sights set on being part of the Great British Team at the 2016 Olympics.
Both Brandon and Liam have already spent a year at the Rolls Royce North East Training Centre on Scotswood Road, Newcastle, where they have learned everything from how to work with lathes to fabrication skills.
Brandon, from High Handenhold in County Durham, is hoping to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil, after becoming small bore rifle shooting champion for the Durham Lord Lieutenant Cadets, while fellow cadet Liam, from High Barnes in Sunderland, is targeting the full bore rifle team.
As Express Engineering’s apprentice programme enters its fifth year, the pair are joined by Jordan Davison, 19, from Ryhope, and Joey Henderson, 18, from Blaydon.
The quartet, who will continue to follow a training programme provided by the Rolls Royce North East Training Centre, are now looking forward to three further years of practical training in CNC machine programming and operating at Express.
Bill Mole, inspector team leader at Express, said: “The apprenticeships we run are ideal for us at Express as it means we can mould the apprentices into the engineers we want them to be and after they’ve completed the four-year apprenticeship there is usually a job waiting for them.”
Wayne Smith, employment and marketing co-ordinator at Rolls-Royce North East Training Centre, said: “Despite the economic situation, there is a demand for young engineers to fill the skills gap that has developed over recent years.”