‘You’re Hired’ as an Apprentice
‘You’re Hired’ as an Apprentice
Being an apprentice is fast becoming a popular route to bagging the career of your dreams. The current trend for on-the-job training is reflected in the BBC’s business reality TV show The Apprentice which has just announced its plans to launch a junior version of the programme next year. And with star of the show Sir Alan Sugar fronting up a new national apprentice campaign, the importance of apprentices across all industries is hitting the headlines.
Aberdeen-based Enterprise Engineering Services (Enterprise) is one of many Scottish companies which is choosing to invest significantly in apprenticeship schemes to attract the next generation of its workforce. Over the last 40 years it has invested heavily to create a modern apprenticeship scheme which develops the talent of its up and coming engineers.
Andrew Scott, managing director of Enterprise says, “It’s becoming more and more challenging for young people with little work experience to gain entry into good organisations and likewise companies continue to struggle in their search for talented individuals.
“I welcome any campaign which encourages entrepreneurial spirit and offers funding for apprenticeship schemes. Apprenticeships are a valued and quality route for businesses to source the skills that they need – and apprentices are really helping to enhance businesses’ success. At their best apprenticeships can make an organisation more effective, productive and competitive by addressing the skills gaps directly.”
Based at West Tullos Industrial Estate, Enterprise provides fabrication services to the oil and gas industry, repair and modification services to a number of major drilling companies worldwide and onsite maintenance to the hydro power, water control and paper industries. From its 140-strong workforce, it currently has ten young apprentices enrolled on its scheme.
Andrew continues, “Our scheme is based upon the current National SVQ’s programme. The apprenticeship scheme has evolved over the last 40 years to reflect the changing requirements of the industries we work in but currently it can be completed in three to four years, depending on the individual and their commitment to training. It provides invaluable hands on experience at our onsite workshop and offices, as well as a clear and structured plan to develop skills and fast track careers.
“As with any good apprenticeship scheme, it is designed to help our employees reach a high level of competency and performance and it is our intention that those who start on the scheme stay with the organisation and go on to become full-time staff members.”
Andrew continues, “Enterprise’s growth strategy focuses heavily on the development of skills. Although the scheme has evolved since I joined the company, our commitment remains the same – to fulfill the ambitions of young highly motivated people. As an industry we must do more to promote enterprise among young people and aid their professional development. The future of our economy relies on the youth of today.”
Among the company’s apprentices is 24-year-old Ryan Petrie, a 4th year apprentice pipe fitter. Ryan explains, “I started work with Enterprise through an agency after leaving school. I did semi-skilled labouring work for two years before going to Tullos Training. From there I was selected for a three month trial before being accepted onto the scheme. Since then I have gone on to complete my NVQ Level 2 and 3 and am awaiting my National Certificate.”
“There is a good mix of practical, carried out in the workshop, and theory, which is completed at Aberdeen College. It’s really opened up doors for me.”
Fellow apprentice 20-year-old William Buchan, a 4th year apprentice fabricator adds, “I was a landscape gardener before deciding that wasn’t the right line of work for me. My granddad was a welder so he had spoken about the industry and I decided to give it a go. I was selected from the ‘Get Ready for Work’ course at ITCA Training
Both Ryan and I finish our apprenticeship in February 2010 and are excited about what lies ahead.”
With an annual turnover of more than £14 million, Enterprise currently employs 140 staff both onshore at the West Tullos Industrial estate workshops and offices and offshore on client facilities. To find out more about its apprenticeship scheme, contact 01224 288400. More about Enterprise Engineering can be found at www.eesl.com