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Why apprenticeships matter in precision engineering and what makes them so important to The Shearline Group.

Our Apprenticeship Program

Our longstanding apprenticeship program has been fundamental to our sustained success and growth as a precision engineering centre of excellence. We take on up to four apprentices each year and, as well as being a valuable business strategy, it reflects our founder’s values for back in 1960’s David Littlechild began his career as an apprentice.


“I think because of the positive experience I had as an apprentice, supporting people through training and apprenticeships has always been at the core of Shearline. We have a number of apprentices who are still with us after 25+ years and I am certain that Shearline’s success is down to the commitment and continued growth of the people who make it.”
David Littlechild, Shearline Founder


David’s journey from apprentice to founder is a testament to the transformative power of apprenticeships. David’s personal experiences shape our company ethos, driving our unwavering commitment to nurturing young talent.


Bridging the Skills Gap

Engineering and manufacturing sectors are currently facing a significant skills gap and there is a growing need for skilled professionals who can meet the demands of modern engineering challenges. Apprenticeships play a crucial role in addressing this gap by providing practical, on-the-job training that equips young engineers with the necessary skills and knowledge. By investing in apprentices, we are not only securing the future of our company but also contributing to the sustainability of the industry as a whole.

Benefits to the Company

Fresh Perspectives and Innovation: Apprentices bring fresh ideas and new perspectives that can spark innovation within the company. Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn often lead to creative solutions and improvements in our processes.

Tailored Training: Apprenticeships allow us to tailor training to the specific needs of our company. We can ensure that apprentices learn the precise skills and techniques required for our unique projects and client demands.

Loyalty and Retention: Apprentices often develop a strong sense of loyalty to the company that trained them. This loyalty translates into higher retention rates and a more dedicated workforce.

Cost-Effectiveness: Investing in apprenticeships is a cost-effective way to build a skilled workforce. The financial incentives and long-term benefits far outweigh the initial costs of training.

Benefits to Apprentices

Hands-On Experience: Apprentices gain real-world experience that cannot be replicated in a classroom. They work on actual projects, learning the practical aspects of engineering from day one.

Career Advancement: Our apprenticeship program provides clear pathways for career advancement. Many of our former apprentices have risen through the ranks to hold senior positions within the company.

Mentorship and Guidance: Apprentices receive mentorship and guidance from experienced engineers, helping them develop both professionally and personally.

Earn While You Learn: One of the key benefits of apprenticeships is the ability to earn a wage while gaining valuable qualifications and experience.

Success Stories

We are proud of our apprentices and their achievements. One of our success stories is Lee Benton, who joined us as an apprentice 27 years ago. Through dedication and hard work, Lee advanced to the position of Fabrication Production Manager, playing a pivotal role in the smooth running of the department. His journey from apprentice to production manager exemplifies the potential of apprenticeships to transform lives and careers.

Another remarkable story is that of Kirsty Kiddle, who started as an apprentice at Shearline Precision Engineering in 2012. After just three years, Kirsty was promoted to Machine Shop Planner making the most of her exceptional organisation and problem-solving skills.

Stories like Lee’s and Kirsty’s highlight the tangible benefits of apprenticeships—not just for the individuals, but for the company as a whole. These former apprentices have become integral members of our team, bringing fresh perspectives, enthusiasm, and a deep understanding of our operations.


How to Apply

We are always on the lookout for passionate and driven individuals to join our apprenticeship program. If you are interested in starting a rewarding career in precision engineering, we encourage you to apply.

Here’s how you can become a part of our team:

Visit Our Website: Head over to our Apprenticeships page to learn more about our apprenticeship program and the qualifications we seek.

Application Process: Follow the instructions on our website to submit your application. Be sure to include your CV and a cover letter to send through to

Please note the closing date for 2024 applications is 31st May 2024.


Contact Us

For more information about our Apprenticeship program, please contact Hilary at