Posted 18 July 2016
Since the last issue of Wired the FS Cables Apprenticeship Programme has continued to grow, with a further four apprentices joining the programme.
Now, more than two years in, six apprentices have completed the programme and are working in full time positions within the company. We currently have three graduates of the scheme in the sales department, two in our export division FSC Global and one working in accounts. There are currently four on the programme awaiting completion.
FS Cables Apprentice Program
The FS Cables Apprentice Programme is a Government approved initiative offering work based training designed around a specific job role. Each young apprentice spends time working in all areas of the company before returning to their host department. This allows them to experience each aspect of our operations first-hand and to see how each department can contribute to first-class customer service. The programme lasts 18 months and each apprentice studies for a NVQ level 2. An external training provider offers support and assesses the trainee throughout the programme.
We aim to give a mix of vocational and academic training which equips the apprentice with real skills in the workplace, while the company benefits from an employee who understands how the business works and how they can better serve customers.
Wired read with interest the recent ’16-24 Alliance’ Government backed initiative which offers training linked to permanent jobs in order to get more young people into work, with large companies such as E.ON, Barclays, Morrisons and Phones 4U all supporting it. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also supports the scheme, saying recently that “big business has a huge role to play in getting young people into work”.
While we would echo this sentiment, as an SME we would urge other smaller businesses to think about taking on an apprentice as well. If 10% of SMEs in the UK took on one or two young apprentices it would create an additional 500,000 jobs for the economy.
Ours has been a learning experience, but a hugely positive one, with very real benefits to our organisation. If you are thinking about taking an apprentice into your business and would like to share experiences, please get in touch.
Apprentices as Ambassadors and employers, demonstrating the benefits the programme creates. Each apprentice shares ‘their story’ of how they have benefited from the apprentice programme, with the audience asking questions about the experience.
As well as promoting apprentice programmes locally, the ambassador programme develops their own abilities in terms of presentation skills, team work, public speaking and preparation.
A recent visit from Jobcentre staff commended our work, commenting that we were one of the largest providers of this scheme in the local area. When the latest apprentices complete the programme and with plans to take on more, the apprentice route into employment at FS Cables will represent over 20% of the workforce.
Wired would be interested to hear of any other companies in the cable or electrical industry who are involved in similar schemes.