Apprenticeships are definitely a buzzword in our industry at the moment, along with the apprenticeship levy, skills gap and industrial strategy. They are all discussed at length, much tweeted about and frequently debated issues.
So, regarding the first…apprenticeships, this is a topic very close to our hearts at Alltube and in all honesty is the lifeblood of our company. Regardless of any media commentary, apprentices are a vitally important part of our business. Without apprentices, we wouldn’t have new skills to develop, fresh thinking talent to nurture, and engineering solutions for the future to take the business forward.
An experienced workforce
Alltube Engineering has a very experienced workforce, with immeasurable knowledge and experience in the team. This knowledge and experience can only come from working in a manufacturing environment for many, many years. Alongside this long-standing team, we also have a young, less experienced element to our workforce, who are continually learning and training, studying and developing. These less experienced young people are learning from our more experienced workforce. Apprentices are trained to our way of working, learning from the experience of others the techniques and processes to meet individual customers’ requirements. They are being mentored, shaped and moulded to be our workforce of the future.
Investment in training and development
As a manufacturer, this investment isn’t cheap, it costs us to invest in training and skills development, but we believe the benefits are significant. It means we can nurture and mould apprentices and teach them bespoke practical skills in our factory from our existing and experienced skills base. Essentially, a young person who has joined the team with little or no work experience will learn numerous engineering techniques, they will gain valuable work experience, earn a salary and gather important life experiences from colleagues along the way. Engineering apprentices study for two or three years to gain an apprenticeship qualification, which means that they have a formal qualification in their future armoury too.
Investment in young people
History and experience show us that if we invest in young people who are interested in developing a career in engineering, both in time investment and financial investment, the rewards for the business will come. The return on our investment will be there for the future, as we will inevitably be keen to retain our apprentices and keep them on the team as full-time employees. The employment prospects are, without doubt, very strong and the opportunities for progression with our business are there for the taking.
The bigger picture
Looking at the bigger picture, manufacturing is a growing, evolving and vital part of our economy which quite rightly needs supporting and nurturing to keep us up there as a world leader in innovation and engineering. Businesses need to continually attract new talent, but also we have to hang on to these new, developing skills in order to benefit industry and the UK as a whole. All too often we have the innovation and ideas but are unable to realise the financial return on our innovations, so lose out to other countries.
In short, young people need training and skills development, SMEs need new skills and young people, and the economy needs innovation and manufacturing.
When you look at it like that it’s actually quite simple.