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JJ Churchill celebrates 80th birthday

Posted 12 December 2017 · Add Comment

Leicestershire based engineering firm JJ Churchill - founded by Walter Churchill on Christmas Day 1937 - is celebrating eighty years in business by recruiting the highest number of apprentices in its history.

Based in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, the company, which employs 129 people, makes high precision gas turbine components for the aerospace industry as well as high horsepower diesel engine components and assemblies.

The firm recruits new apprentices most years and the majority of its workforce has an apprenticeship background.

Taking on four new engineering apprentices, following the largest recruitment drive in the company’s history, Chief Executive of JJ Churchill Ltd, Andrew Churchill (above), spoke about why the firm continues to invest in apprenticeships year on year: “We couldn’t have been so successful for the past eight decades without the hundreds of apprentices who’ve come through our doors and gone on to be great engineers. Most are local – we’re part of the community in Leicestershire and we’re proud that we could invest in the region and give people a great career in engineering. We could bring people in with the skills already but giving young people those opportunities instead is important to us.”

Semta helps engineering businesses to set up successful apprenticeship programmes and is encouraging other smaller organisations to follow JJ Churchill’s lead.

Ann Watson, Chief Executive of Semta, the engineering skills body, said: “JJ Churchill is a shining example of a company doing exactly the right thing. We’ve got a big skills gap in the UK – we need two million more engineers by 2025 – and apprenticeships are an extremely cost effective way for organisations of all sizes to future proof their business by growing their own talent.”

This view is supported by Andrew Churchill who added: “Without our fantastic workforce – almost all of whom have been apprentices – we couldn’t have been in business for eight decades now and still be going strong. We train the best engineers and they stay with us, meaning we can plan for the long term, unlike some other companies where the turnover is much higher.”

“This year we’re taking on four new young apprentices because we know, as technology changes more and more rapidly – these are the engineers who will be best placed to adapt and make sure we’re successful in the future.”

Founded by Walter Churchill (above, bottom right) on Christmas Day 1937, Churchill Components, as the company was originally known, was based in Coventry and supplied machined parts such as exhaust values for radial aero-engines to Armstrong-Siddeley.

After being blitzed out of Coventry in 1941, the company re-located to Market Bosworth and following the loss of Walter Churchill during the air defence of Malta in 1942, the company was taken on by his young wife Joyce. Having worked closely with Sir Frank Whittle in the 1930s, the transition to gas turbine work was a natural step and compressor blades became a core product from the mid-40s.

Today, the business is located on the same 32,000 sq. metre site at Market Bosworth.



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