It always seems to come around quickly year on year, but come Feb/March we start looking to recruit new apprentices to start our apprenticeship scheme in September. The summer period is an invaluable time to trial potential new apprentices on the shop floor to make sure that they are sure of their course, the direction they want to go in, and indeed if the reality of an engineering apprenticeship is really for them. It also gives us a useful insight into what interest and skills they might naturally have, and if working for Alltube will be for them.
As we are continually being told by the media, there is a real skills shortage in manufacturing in the UK at the moment, particularly in engineering. The solution to this seems obvious; we need to recruit young people early! We need to train them up while they are working, so they gain skills in both practical and theoretical fields, and with the support of a real manufacturing company. Our apprentices will then be guided and nurtured to make the most of their natural skills and interests, and they will learn first hand from the collective years of experience we have within Alltube, about both manufacturing and business.
An apprenticeship with Alltube Engineering gives a young person a good, sound base in general engineering. From past experience, if they complete a 2 or 3-year course in engineering they are usually committed to a career in engineering, which means they are also more likely to stay within our organisation. So offering an apprenticeship scheme really is a win-win situation! There are clear benefits for both us as a company, and for the apprentices.
The benefits for a young person are that they get paid to learn, and they’re not funding their education themselves and accruing large debts as you might if you go to University as a school-leaver. At the end of an apprenticeship, the young person usually ends up transferring onto the main workforce, staying within the company, and essentially stepping straight into a job for life, if they want it, with all the security that employment offers. The ‘world of work’ is very different to being in education and as an apprentice, it gives you a real taste of what this is like, what is expected of you, and how to work within an organisation. As an apprentice, you not only receive workplace skills training but also life skills training, and all within the context of business.
The benefits for us as an employer are that we can identify skills at a very early stage. We get a feel for what attributes a young person has, and we can see how, as a potential employee, they would fit within our workforce and business. Once we get to know the individual and their skills, we then have the opportunity to channel them in the right direction within the organisation and make the most of their skills as an employee. Working on the shop floor, they put their skills into practice every day, so it makes it much easier for us to assess and review their progress.
Currently at Alltube, we have three apprentices; two in their third year of Level 3 General Engineering NVQ qualification, and one who has just started their first year of Level 3 General Engineering. We work with NITAL in Kettering who provide the practical and theoretical elements one day a week, and the rest of the time they are gaining hands-on experience on the factory floor. The progression working within Alltube can be very significant and rewarding, as past success stories show.
One of our previous apprentices is now running a full section in the factory, another has full responsibility for a customer account, and currently one of our third-year apprentices is running a unit scheduling work for a major customer. That’s real evidence that apprentice schemes work!
Kevin Cope, Managing Director at Alltube Engineering, describes the benefits, “We are able to identify skills and interests within a working environment, we can find out from them what attributes they do or don’t have, and we can see if it’s what they really want to do.”
Thomas Malings (21) says, “Learning in the workplace is better than finishing college without any engineering experience”. “I do everything, including forming, bending and machining parts, and I learn a lot more by doing different roles within the factory”. “I enjoy working at Alltube as there is a “good flow of production and we keep up to date with customer orders, so our deliveries are all on time”.
Gavin Cope (22) says, “I enjoy running the complete production for one of Alltube’s customers. I have sole responsibility for four workers and oversee what they do on a day to day basis.”
If you want to know more about our apprecticeship schemes, please get in touch.