FOUR Keighley College apprentices have secured permanent posts with a manufacturer as part of a recruitment drive by the company.

The quartet has been taken on by Cross Hills-based Platinum Stairlifts, which is looking to further bolster its workforce in anticipation of “significant growth” during the next 12 months.

Among the new recruits is 19-year-old Emily MacFarlane, the first female apprentice in the firm’s rail build division.

She and fellow plate welder and fabricator Level 3 student Elliott Rhodes, 29, took-up their full-time posts several weeks ago.

And they have been joined more recently by Callum Hardaker and Cameron Pickering, also apprentice rail builders.

The move is part of an initiative between Platinum Stairlifts and Keighley College to provide opportunities for apprentices.

Nicola Greenwood, human resources manager at Platinum Stairlifts, said “We are delighted to have been able to give the apprentices the opportunity to train and gain essential skills, in order for them to attain their qualifications.

“We are in a period of significant growth this year, which is a fantastic place to be considering the impact Covid and Brexit have had on some businesses.

“Our market opportunities are looking promising and we will be recruiting to manage our plans to expand over the next year.

“We’re passionate about hearing from talented people who’re keen to join a skilled workforce.

“As a large employer in the area, we’re committed to providing valuable opportunities for our colleagues.”

Emily said she was delighted to be offered a permanent post at Platinum.

After studying engineering, she completed her NVQ certificates in welding and fabrication at Keighley College.

Emily is now working on the production lines as an apprentice rail builder.

“I am really enjoying the work – and the team at Platinum has been welcoming and helped me when I have needed it,” she said.

“Getting a job here has helped me gain more hands-on experience, which means I can complete my practical tests to a better standard.”

Elliott said he was also grateful for the hands-on experience.

“I feel more competent and am really enjoying the experience I am gaining,” he added.