In support of Learning at Work Week (13 – 19 May), Emma Segelov, EMEA marketing operations manager for MK Electric, highlights the benefits having an apprentice can bring to a business.
As a highly skilled industry, we are reliant on a constant stream of new talent. Apprentices are key to ensuring we have the skills required to drive the industry forward and can help a business to grow.
All of our apprentices bring something new and valuable into the business, such as a fresh perspective on an existing process, as well as safeguarding the continuity of essential skill sets, now and in the future. One example is Thomas Hunt, a former apprentice who was crowned BEAMA’S Young Manufacturer of the Year in 2018.
During his time as an apprentice, Thomas quickly became the ‘go-to guy’ for technical support within the mouldshop team at our Southend-on-Sea manufacturing site, showing a particular aptitude for math-based queries. Thomas filled a moulding skills gap and provided crucial assistance in training current staff on new machines and basic moulding skills, overcoming any difficulties which occur with the moulding machines. In fact, as part of his time working in compression moulding, Thomas independently developed a detailed compression moulding manual covering the control of the presses and fault finding, which is now used to assist in the training of others – a major benefit to new staff members.
For MK Electric, employing the best talent has helped us to reach a centenary. It also puts the brand in a strong position to evolve to meet the needs of customers and building users for a smart and sustainable future.
Naturally, we understand that the process of hiring an apprentice is going to be different for each business, depending on its size, infrastructure and the amount of resource available, but the rewards are great. The Education and Skills Funding Agency has information available for potential employers, including guidance on funding and how smaller businesses can apply for support.
We would encourage anyone with the means to hire an apprentice to do so, as it will not only change a young person’s life, but also benefit your business and the wider industry by helping to close the skills gap. It’s crucial that the industry works together to preserve its workforce by ensuring knowledge is passed down to the next generation via apprenticeships.