For one Derbyshire company, apprenticeships are nothing new but they claim they are vital to their success in the precision engineering market.
It’s not surprising then that Slack and Parr have invested heavily in apprenticeships for the last 50 years and plan to carry on. They take on up to 10 new apprentices every year for a 4 year programme which gives young people the opportunity to train and gain qualifications in the work place at the same time as giving the company a workforce with exactly the right kind of skills.
Richard Wilson, Operations Director from Slack & Parr told us “The company firmly believes that our future rests in making sure we develop the skills we need to continue and to adapt to modern engineering techniques. We see apprenticeships as the best way to do that. When you consider that 64% of the workforce and 3 of our present directors are former Slack and Parr apprentices, it clearly shows how important our apprentice training program is to business.”
“We have a stringent selection process that includes interviews and practical tests but we also hold open evenings for potential applicants and their parents so that they can see the supportive environment that they will be working in and how getting on the job training and a chance to learn the theory at the same time can be the best route to qualifications and a career.”
Ralph Beardmore, Training Officer told us: “An engineering apprenticeship gives practical young people the chance to develop using what they are best at. I have seen how apprenticeships help to develop young people into very successful adults. It isn’t just about the engineering skills they gain; it’s the life skills and opportunity to develop confidence by being in a working environment that seems to be the winning formula.”
This is something that apprentices Kelly-Anne Powdrill and Lewis Varley both claim has been a surprising side of choosing to do an engineering apprenticeship as the next step after school. They also highlight how much they have progressed as valued members of the team by mixing studying and learning on the job and are keen to make engineering their lifelong career with their eyes firmly set on supervisory roles in the future.
Nicki Clarke, Operations Manager from Learning Unlimited said; “We’re really proud to support Slack and Parr’s first class apprenticeship programme by providing the training that they can’t offer in house. It makes excellent business sense for the company to take on apprentices and we can see the impact it has on learners and the wider community who really value the local job opportunities it creates.”
For more information about where apprenticeships can take you visit Learning Unlimited’s web site or call 0345 850 1055