National Apprenticeship Week 2014: 3rd-7th March

Next week is National Apprenticeship Week. Organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, the week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the impact they have had on individuals, businesses and the UK economy.

National Apprenticeship Week 2014

Now in its seventh year the theme for National Apprenticeship Week is Great Apprentices.

The growing fear of a UK skills shortage has pushed the issue of apprenticeships to the forefront of debate over the past year and The 5% Club has led the charge, urging public and private companies to Invest in a Generation.

Looking ahead to the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week, we want to share with you some of the standout apprentices from our 20 members, including apprentices who have gained national recognition for their efforts over the past year.

Natasha Pitts, Dale Power Solutions Apprentice

Natasha Pitts The 5% Club

Natasha’s efforts since joining Dale Power Solutions in 2010 was recognised at the National Apprenticeship Awards in November, having been handed the Highly Commended Award for ‘exceptional work as a Higher Apprentice’.

Natasha is currently on an electrical and electrical engineering apprenticeship at Dale Power Solutions and has been described as a role model and a star of the future.

Read Natasha’s case study here

Samantha Ball, MBDA Apprentice

In October of last year, MBDA apprentice Samantha Ball  took to the stage at the Conservative party conference to promote apprenticeships as a viable alternative to full-time education.

Samantha, a logistics apprentice, is currently in her final year of a four year MBDA apprenticeship and has worked across various departments of the company on rotating placements.

Tom Wheatley, QinetiQ Apprentice

Tom Wheatley The 5% Club

Tom is a third year aeronautical apprentice at QinetiQ’s Boscombe Down training school. He is an avid supporter of apprenticeships and has offered his support to The 5% Club’s aims and achievements.

Read Tom’s case study and thoughts on The 5% Club here

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The 5% Club Case Study: Anna Schlautmann

The 5% Case Studies offers you an insight into the daily life’s of the apprentices and graduates of the Club’s 19 members. This week, our focus is on award winning MBDA apprentice Anna Schlautmann. Anna was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 Manufacturer Awards in December. Read more about Anna’s experiences as a third year Logistics Apprentice at MBDA.

Anna Schlautmann receives her award from Pera Training Chief Executive Richard Grice Copyright Manufacturer 2013

1. What persuaded you to pursue an apprenticeship at MBDA?

I knew that doing an apprenticeship would benefit me more than going to University alone. This is due to the full-time work experience that can be gained, alongside studying the theory at degree level and an NVQ 4. The balance requires hard work and diligence at both.

2. What is your current role?

I am currently a third year Logistics Apprentice working in a placement that involves maintaining the resource pool in manufacturing and analysing the manufacturing workload. This has a vast impact on the business because it helps the business to understand where it needs to maintain skills and knowledge as well as where to meet the project requirements. I have also worked in Project Management on a multi-national missile contract. I was responsible for raising potential risks and opportunities to the project.

3. Describe your daily role at MBDA and the variety of programmes/tasks your involved with.

At MBDA I rotate within placements, for example Supply Chain, Project Management and Logistics. I regularly go into schools and colleges to promote apprenticeships, and specifically women in manufacturing. So far in my apprenticeship, I have visited and presented to 15 schools and colleges, promoting engineering and apprenticeships. This is not solely to inspire young individuals; it is also to influence teachers and parents to know that apprenticeships are a positive route to take.

As teachers and parents are the main influencers of children these days, I ensure that I create a positive image of apprenticeships among that community as well as the young generation, as in my opinion an apprenticeship is the best route.  I am determined to be a role model for apprenticeships; I have therefore chosen to become a STEM ambassador as I would like to inspire young people.

I also co-ordinate the charity challenge team, it is a pleasure to make a difference and host events for charities.

4. What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?

I have had many highlights in my apprenticeship, for example meeting several MPs, touring the house of commons, competing in the national Brathay Apprentice Challenge, promoting manufacturing apprenticeships to girls and making a difference in the workplace. However my biggest highlight was winning the Manufacturer’s National Manufacturer Apprentice of the Year in December 2013.

5. Does an apprenticeship offer benefits that other career routes cannot match? 

I believe that if you compare an apprenticeship to going to university alone, university cannot live up to an apprenticeship. If I was at university I would need work experience to be employable. An apprenticeship offers constant work experience alongside your qualifications, this enables apprentices to understand the business environment and more than any individual studying theory alone.

01-Anna-Schlautmann © MBDA UK Ltd

6. How would you persuade more females to pursue a career in engineering?

I promote apprenticeships at careers events in which two of the new females apprentices who joined this year are a result of me speaking to them at these careers events. I think it is vital for students to see the female apprentices promoting apprenticeships themselves.

Females are not often promoted within applying for engineering, which means they may be discouraged to do so. 50% of apprentices at MBDA are female, so you can ensure that there is no problem with females working in a manufacturing environment.

7. What are your aims for the duration of your apprenticeship?

I aim to achieve a first class honours in my Business Management BA (Hons) degree and I aim to achieve excellent reviews and feedback for all my placements. I also wish to make a real difference and large contribution to the business.

I constantly ask for more opportunities to learn which is my main aim, as I recognise that I am the future of the business and need to ensure I am in shape for this. At MBDA we have experienced workforce and many of our systems have a 30 lifecycle so there this is extreme challenge in terms of demographics. I need to ensure I contribute to this meaningfully and ensure that logistics and business knowledge from the skilled retiring workforce is transferred to myself to ensure vital skills are not lost.

8. What advice would you offer young people seeking an apprenticeship?

If anyone is considering doing an apprenticeship, I would definitely recommend it. Gaining work experience is a fantastic opportunity that not many young people are able to experience.

 

 

The 5% Club Case Study: Will Sharpe

This week, The 5% Club Case Study focus is on Will Sharpe, a placement student at Atkins Global. Read about Will’s daily role below:

The 5% Club case studyName: Will Sharpe

Division: Oil and Gas

Location: Epsom

What advice would you give to a student looking for a placement?

I found it really useful to know as much about the placement before I applied. This helped me understand what the ‘Year in Industry’ would involve, and how suited it was to my interests and career aspirations.

I believe this came across rather well in my interview, as I had a clear understanding of the role I was applying for and I could convey a natural passion. However, with regards to the interview, I would also recommend researching the local area and the additional facilities that the site can offer.

I had lived in the North of England all of my life, and with three of my siblings recently moving down to London I felt the urge to see what all the fuss what about. The interviewers already knew my academic skills from my CV so I wanted to make it clear that there were a vast number of reasons why I wanted to join Atkins in Epsom. The location, the lifestyle and the social community!

How is Atkins helping you develop towards your future career?

The placement I applied for was in the Oil and Gas sector, which is split into two six-month placements within the department. The first six months I was working with the Process Simulation team followed by six months working with the Safety Analysis team.

This was very appealing to me as after a somewhat ambiguous three years studying Chemical Engineering I was still unclear of an area I wanted to concentrate on.

This way I obtain twice as much experience in various fields widening my breadth of knowledge towards possible future career paths.

On my first day at Atkins I was introduced to the online training system that they have in place. This amazed me instantly as there is a large catalogue of online tutorials and tests that can be completed at your own leisure. In particular the computer software courses – these will be useful skills to have throughout the whole of my career.

However, it is my colleagues around me that are proving the most helpful. Immediately I was made aware of the relaxed and social atmosphere at Atkins, where any questions you may have can be answered by a quick email, chat or phone call.