UK group Sheffield Forgemasters has taken on a batch of apprentices to add to its specialist engineering workforce.

The 200-year-old company is continuing to take a proactive role in putting crucial engineering skills back into the industry through its apprenticeship scheme.

SFIL will train 68 apprentices over the coming year with the majority in their second and third-years, but 17 of which are new school and college graduates studying for specialist careers and roles in all departments across the 64-acre Brightside Lane site.

This year more than 200 people applied for 17 vacancies, proving that apprenticeships are a sought after route for future employees.

Due to high levels of demand and skills, the successful applicants were chosen through an assessment centre and a familiarisation visit as part of the interview process.

The company invests more than £1M/year in its apprenticeships training programme plus public sector grants with a range of qualifications being achieved from NVQs, BTEC, City & Guilds to undergraduate/post graduate level including Phds, lifelong learning plus work-based key-skills learning programmes. In 2010, 22 apprentices started foundation degrees to achieve technician status.