A BLACKBURN firm is hoping that a modern-day Magnificent Seven will help them to outgun their rivals.

Spare parts and repair supplier Northern Industrial, based in Shadsworth, is putting its faith in fresh blood as part of a significant recruitment drive.

Future recruitment could also see an additional nine posts created at the company, which exports new, reconditioned and obsolete parts to 146 countries.

And the Thwaites Close firm is not the only venture to consider investing in youth, as industry recognises National Apprenticeship Week.

Darwen’s Alpha Digital Network has got on board, taking on a new starter, and Barnoldswick beds giant Silentnight has a long-standing apprenticeship programme.

For Northern Industrial, managing director David Lenehan says their latest appointments will take them to the next level.

Emil Jaje, David Stickley and Martin Thomas are beginning work as electronics engineers, Candy Dewhurst and Kim Allt are learning the ropes as account managers, Jack Kitson has been taken on as a trade counter operative and Ryan Thompson’s break is as a web developer.

Mr Lenehan said: “We’re very pleased to welcome all seven new members to our team, joining us as part of a major recruitment drive following our significant expansion over the last few years, which looks set to continue based on the continually growing customer need.

“Although we have customers in a wide variety of manufacturing disciplines, one thing they all have in common is they want to avoid downtime at all costs.

“Dealing with customers in stressful breakdown situations across the world, we provide the spare parts and repairs customers need as quickly as possible to minimise downtime.

“We specialise in keeping businesses up and running, with high quality industrial electronic spare parts, repairs and onsite support.”

Their extra field vacancies will come in the electronic engineering section, he added.

The firm works with 1,350 manufacturers and has 200,000 part numbers included in its £7million stockroom.

Meanwhile Jack Lawson, 19, will be the new face at Arkwright Court based Alpha Digital, embarking on a two-year traineeship.

He is joining their engineering team, working on installing and repairing audio-visual and digital signage products.

Jack, who has a BTEC in business and finance from Runshaw College and is a keen junior football referee in his spare time, has arrived via Training 2000.

Alpha has already recently taken on two new engineers and a business development manager, to complement recent deals with the likes of The Jockey Club and Blackburn Rovers.

Leighton Chance, their operations manager, said: “We are excited to employ Jack, developing his skills and focussing on eventually making him a full-time employee.

“He has the necessary skills, attention to detail and positive attitude to make him a valuable member of the team.”

One of the best exponents of the apprenticeships regime in East Lancashire is Barnoldswick-based Silentnight.

No fewer than 65 full-time jobs have been created at the West Craven bed maker since their in-house scheme was launched in 2011.

Dr Julie Dix, training and development manager, said: “We offer two-year apprenticeships in a variety of different areas.

“They all come with a nationally-recognised qualification or set of skills that the apprentice will develop over time with us.”

Their apprentices all earned above the National Living Wage, regardless of age, she added.