Young people flock to GET apprenticeships
By Andrew Merrell | 22nd January 2019
If anyone doubts the desire to take up engineering apprenticeships they needed only be at what has been called 'the engineering hub of Gloucestershire' last night.
Founded more than 40 years ago, but if interest in its services is anything to go by it has never more relevant - Gloucestershire Engineering Training staged its first apprenticeship open evening of 2019.
That some of the biggest, best and most exciting names in engineering in the county felt fit to man stands at the Barnwood event spoke volumes for the calibre of training the centre delivers for each company - and helped explain the turnout.
"This is one of the most important recruitment events we do," said Gary Miller, training and development manager for Stonehouse-based engineering giant Delphi Technologies which serves the automotive industry.
Delphi Technologies is looking to take on as many as 15 apprentices this year and has 50-plus on its books already.
"We do other careers events, but the young people coming here are specifically looking for engineering apprenticeships. And there are some fantastic businesses here alongside one another."
Michael Bennett, OBE, an independent director at GET, former engineer, deputy to the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, said: "GET celebrated 40 years last year. It started when a group of engineering companies decided to do their own training.
"Today most of the directors are ex-industry and there is also an emphasis on work ethos as part of the training.
"There are all sorts of companies involved, big and small, and I think people now realises there are viable exciting alternatives to university, which is not for everyone."
Other firms at the event included aerospace legends Safran, engineering firm to the oil and gas industry, Alderley, cyber and defence solutions firm L3-TRL, Douglas Equipment of Cheltenham, LB Bentley and Gloucester-based TBS Engineering.
GET is used by an estimated 60 engineering firms big and small from across Gloucestershire.
Warren Thomas, operation director at GET, which is based at off Corinium Avenue in Gloucester, said: "We usually get about 300 people through the doors of the event. I think the fact we can now deliver Level 2 to Level 7 qualifications and HND and HNC here is getting people's attention too."
Rob Taylor, 20, an apprentice at Cheltenham-based Kohler Mira, said: "For engineering an apprenticeship is a no-brainer. You have the opportunity to do the courses you need to get the qualifications you need, while getting work experience and getting paid."
Sam Trower, 17, also an apprentice at the Kohler Mira, which makes shower products and bathroom fittings, said: "It is a cliché, but the chance to earn while you learn is powerful and makes sense."
Damon Ballinger, an apprentice and training manager at aerospace firm Dowty Propellers, said: "I have been in aviation 25 years - and the thrill of making something for an aeroplane you and other people might travel in never goes away.
"It is an amazing feeling to be part of an industry which stretches round the world. It is something you can start doing at 16, 17, 18 years of age and you will never stop learning."
The current edition of Punchline features articles on GET and many of the firms who made the apprenticeship event such a success.
At its core is a list of 50 apprenticeship champions - firms respected and recommended for how they deliver apprenticeships - from across the sectors offering more than 250 apprenticeships in 2019. View it here .
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