Sam Toyne, from The Rock, began an industry placement with Epson’s ink manufacturing and distribution plant in Hortonwood at the start of this year as part of his level two engineering course.
The recruitment team were so impressed by the former Hadley Learning Community student’s performance that they have accepted him onto Epson’s undergraduate development programme.
It means that Epson will refund 16-year-old Sam’s tuition fees up to £35,000 on successful completion of his degree, and offer him a full-time job for a minimum of four years.
Telford College’s employer engagement manager, Beckie Bosworth, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Sam after he completes his level two and three engineering studies with us.
“We are really grateful to the training team at Epson for offering him this fast-track scheme to graduation and full-time work.”
Epson will be visiting Telford College later this year to talk to students about the scheme – hopefully paving the way for other students to take advantage of similar opportunities.
Epson Telford Ltd’s undergraduate development programme is designed for people who want to go to university but may still be unsure of their career choices or area of expertise.
Anyone aged 16 or above can apply for the programme, which gives them work experience while attending college, before eventually going on to university to complete a degree.
Sascha-Leigh Rauch, Epson Telford Ltd’s training co-ordinator, said: “By taking part in this programme, Sam is gaining hands-on training at our manufacturing site in Telford.
“During his first year, he will spend time within each area of the business, working alongside departmental managers and specialists, giving him an insight into each business area and enabling him to make a more effective career choice.”
Participants in the Epson scheme get to explore many different areas of the company, including manufacturing, packaging, engineering, plant maintenance, plus the tool room and technical development.
“In addition, we support them through the university application process and on projects whilst at university. You will be appointed an onsite mentor. We will offer you a paid placement year on site," said Sascha-Leigh.
“It delivers real work experience, a guaranteed job in your area of specialism, with the added bonus of earning money and having no university fees to pay.”
Lois Breen, Telford College’s industry placement lead, said: “Sam’s mentor at Epson told us that he secured his placement by delivering a very well-planned presentation and impressing the recruitment team.
“Sam is moving departments at Epson every four weeks to give him an overview of the operations of the whole company – which is noticeably increasing his confidence.”