Nick Tillett co-owner of research and development company Tillett & Hague Technology is a true talent spotter of trainees from The Bedford College Group.
Pre-Covid he agreed to offer two students Bartek Wojciezynski and Peter Lai valuable work experience, as part of a pilot for the Government T-level programme, within his specialised company he was able to keep them engaged during the lockdowns. As soon as he could, Nick offered Bartek a full-time job and has since taken on Peter.
Bartek, aged 19, and Peter, 26, both of Bedford, are now trainee Applications Engineers working on products which are used worldwide in agriculture.
“Tillett & Hague are one of our most inspiring employers,” said Workplace Coordinator of T-Levels Sharon Neall,
“They are great at spotting and encouraging young talent. We are very grateful to him and need other employers to helps us create their staff of the future.”
Nick is now offering work experience to a third T-Level student Tom Atkinson of Woburn Sands who is studying for a Level 3 in BTEC Electrical Engineering.
He previously helped Becky Richards with T-Level work experience. She has since gone on to gain a job at the international Lockheed Martin in Bedfordshire and be a finalist in the regional Rising Star category of the 2021 National Apprenticeships Awards.
Tillett & Hague are based at the Wrest Park site in Silsoe Bedfordshire. Nick originally worked at the same location in the 1980s at the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering, which became the Silsoe Research Institute. Since forming Tillett & Hague 16 years ago with his colleague Tony Hague, the company has won contracts to supply computer vision based guidance systems to manufacturers across Europe, who in turn supply equipment across the world. Tillett & Hague supply the control boards, consoles and cameras which control and navigate machines which weed a very wide range of crops from salads to cereals.
Said Nick: “Currently we have nine on the team but we need bright young talent here who can start at the assembly stage and we can then develop. We also need more academic entry level recruits to work with us on Research and Development. Working with the college means we can seek our new talent.”
The Bedford College Group has been working closely with employers to support extended work placements. This has been supported by Capacity Development Funding (CDF) from the Department for Education which aims to support colleges in building relationships with employers in preparation for the new Technical Levels (T-levels).
T-levels are new technical qualifications that are an alternate route to A Level study. The Bedford College Group was one of the first colleges to start these qualifications in digital, construction health and social care.