Apprentice turned manager at Thetford firm spearheading national campaign in new film

Darren Craigen
Darren Craigen

A Thetford apprentice who rose to become a manager stars in a national film campaign to encourage more people into apprenticeships.

Darren Craigen started as a mechanical engineering higher apprentice at Warren Services and is now its CNC Milling Manager.

“My Apprenticeship has given me an amazing opportunity to achieve a well-respected qualification, as well as gain valuable experience in an innovative, high growth industry,” said Darren, 30.

“Within manufacturing and engineering there are so many different types of jobs, for all sorts of people.”

The film by the National Apprenticeship Service will be shown at schools and careers events. See it at

Sarah Sillars OBE, chief executive at Semta, the Sector Skills Council for the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering sectors said: “Apprenticeship starts in engineering and advanced manufacturing have increased by more than 85% in the past two years.

“However, engineering and manufacturing still has an image problem - we need more teachers and parents to understand apprenticeships will benefit their children and not somebody else’s.

“The sector needs to recruit 82,000 people just to cover retirements up to 2016.”

She said apprenticeships will not only give individuals a succesful career but will help ensure growth in what is one of the UK’s priority sectors.