As part of National Apprenticeship Week I was invited to go along to an event hosted by one of our clients, Superior, titled; “Everything you wanted to know about apprenticeships, but were afraid to ask”. The aim of the morning was to help explain all about the apprenticeship scheme and how easy it is for companies to sign up and get involved with recruiting apprentices of their own.
Tim Brown, MBE and MD of Superior, opened the morning and explained how apprentices have really worked for them and helped the company grow from strength to strength since their apprenticeship scheme launched in 2009.
Superior subsequently opened their Academy in 2012 with a special presentation from HRH the Duke of Kent, but Tim was keen to enforce the fact that you do not necessarily need these expensive facilities to house an apprentice within your company.
One of the biggest factors facing engineering and manufacturing today is that there is an aging workforce, with limited talent coming in so there are fewer people to pass the skills down to. “We will face a major skills gap if employers aren’t passing this knowledge on,” Ben Clarke, quality manager of Superior Skills claimed. This awareness of a skills gap was prevalent throughout the morning and really helped to illustrate the situation that lies ahead if apprenticeships aren’t considered as a viable option for young people.
Aish Technologies, also based in Poole, joined Superior in presenting to local businesses how apprenticeships truly are beneficial, why they should be considered, and how easy they are to implement. Alex Stevens, apprentice of Aish Technologies, told us all about his journey, why it has helped him develop as a person and how keen he is to progress through the rest of his programme. Dorothy Westerman, HR manager, explained that they received more than 300 applicants last year – the demand is out there, and young people are keen to earn as they learn.
The final presentation came from two of Superior Academy’s own apprentices – Jamie and James. Since joining the Academy they have both taken different paths, Jamie has been working on creating a new IT training programme, which will be launched later this year, whereas James has gone into sales and marketing with the opportunity to represent the company worldwide.
Tim rounded off the morning on a powerful note; explaining his only regret with the apprenticeship programme is that he wished the company had started it ten years earlier. It was then his pleasure to announce James Rowe as Superior Academy’s Apprentice of the Year, and introduce Councillor Simon Tong to present the official award.
It was a fascinating morning learning all about the benefits of apprenticeships, and how it can really help to develop your character as well as your employable skills. If you’re considering taking on an apprentice since learning more during National Apprenticeship Week, then you can find out more by visiting the official apprenticeships website here.