National Apprenticeship Week: Azets, Renishaw, Dowty and EG Carter celebrate success
By Sarah Wood
During National Apprenticeship Week this week, local companies are celebrating apprentices and their achievements - and reassuring young people that they are still taking apprentices on, despite the pandemic.
"Apprenticeships can sometimes be looked down upon by schools, peers and family, compared to university degrees, but it was the right choice for me. The industry knowledge and experience so far has exceeded what I expected to achieve by this point in my career."
Those are the words of Esmee Howard, technical apprentice at Renishaw. At the end of January 2021, the Gloucestershire-based global engineering technologies company welcomed 130 attendees to its virtual early careers event for aspiring engineers.
Apprenticeship applications are still open and will close at the end of National Apprenticeship Week on 12th February.
Rebecca Bound, education outreach worker at Renishaw, said: "Renishaw prides itself on supporting the next generation of engineers. Apprentices get the opportunity to study while working in experienced teams on real-life projects, such as producing software and parts for ventilators.
"Recruiting young talent is fundamental to our business because they bring innovative ideas, are socially conscious and have very strong digital skills. They also play an important role by contributing to the team from their first day."
Esmee Howard, technical apprentice at Renishaw, continued: "During my third year as a technical apprentice, I became a STEM ambassador to encourage more girls to pursue engineering. Promoting STEM careers to students, especially young girls, in a way that I was never exposed to at school, has been rewarding and has helped me grow in confidence. If I had been told about engineering sooner through early careers events, like Renishaw provides, I would have realised engineering was the right career path so much earlier.
"Becoming a STEM ambassador also means that I can share my experiences on important projects, such as VentilatorChallengeUK, where Renishaw helped to manufacture ventilators for the NHS. This project brought the company together and we all felt a lot of pride that our roles were helping save lives."
To find out more about what Renishaw apprenticeships have to offer or apply yourself by 12th February, visit www.renishaw.com/apprenticeships.
Azets, the UK's largest regional accountancy and business advisors to SMEs, which has offices in Gloucester and Cheltenham, is celebrating its 443 apprentices across the UK.
Investing in the next generation of talent is a key strategy for Azets. The company has a range of apprenticeship offerings, but there are broadly two options: the school leaver or graduate programmes. The school leaver route is a six year programme, leading to the student becoming qualified in their AAT and then moving onto their chartered accountancy qualification (ACA, ACCA, CTA or ICAS). The graduate route is a three or four year programme, where students study toward their chartered accountancy qualification (ACA, ACCA, CTA or ICAS).
Amy Daniel, an Azets apprentice based in Cheltenham, said: "Azets stood out to me because of the support that is offered. During the global pandemic in particular, there has been a big focus on mental health and wellbeing and since working remotely, I have continued to have plenty of opportunities to gain more skills.
"From my experience, being an apprentice is a really effective way of completing the ACCA exams, as well as having to do on-the-job training. Within three years, I will be fully qualified."
Dowty Propellers, the Gloucester-based world-leading manufacturer of propulsion systems, continues to invest in the future of its business by sustaining the three different apprenticeship schemes it offers to young people in the area.
Henry Johnston, president of Dowty Propellers, said: "It's no secret that the aviation industry has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we have had to make some very tough decisions.
"We are taking a longer-term view and strongly believe in investing in a future workforce and the future of our company. We offer opportunities for school leavers to gain valuable experience, combined with further education, while simultaneously developing in confidence, wisdom and skills."
Dowty Propellers runs three apprenticeship schemes:
• Business Apprenticeship: Aimed at post-GCSE students, this two-year scheme gains participants a Level 3 NVQ in business administration.
• Craft Apprenticeship: This three-year programme also is aimed at post-GCSE who gain a Level 3 NVQ manufacturing engineering qualification.
• Degree Apprenticeship: This four/ five-year programme aimed at post-A Level applicants covers multiple engineering disciplines and its participants graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng.) in aerospace engineering, usually from the University of West England (UWE) in Bristol
The next recruitment round for apprenticeships at Dowty Propellers will begin this October.
EG Carter & Co Ltd
Gloucester-based construction firm EG Carter & Co Ltd is supporting National Apprenticeship Week. Many of its longest serving and most experienced employees began their professional career on the company's apprenticeship programme, and continue to develop their careers within the company.
Its three year trade apprenticeship programme offers:
• Site based working alongside experienced tradesmen in either carpentry or bricklaying
• Achieve Level 3 City and Guilds or similar qualification
• Career aspiration and progression opportunities into management positions
Have you got an apprenticeship story? We would love to hear about it at Punchline Skills, Apprenticeships and Careers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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