5th March 2019

Laying the foundations for apprentices

Apprenticeship schemes are an ideal route into the workplace for young people, and offer benefits to employers as well. By providing apprentices with a combination of hands on skills and formal education, they ensure a capable recruitment pool for companies. This is especially important against the backdrop of a growing skills gap. National Apprenticeship Week, which took place last month, celebrated this and numerous other benefits of on-the-job training programmes.

Around the same time, Clear Structures and Thomasons participated in a STEAM careers fair at Westcliff High School for Girls in Southend on Sea, answering questions about engineering. Students from across year groups visited different stands, all belonging to STEAM sectors.

Visiting schools is a staple part of Clear Structures’ long-established apprenticeship scheme, especially at the tertiary level. By reaching out to colleges, giving presentations to students and supporting work experience, the consultancy has seen its programme flourish.

Rather than limit work experience to a particular time of year or to a small number of people, Clear Structures welcome students on board throughout.

Before inviting potential candidates to undertake a placement, Julie Parsell, office and apprenticeship development manager at Clear Structures, interviews them. She doesn’t conduct a comprehensive Q&A; her main aim is to determine whether or not they really want to pursue a career in engineering.

Julie comments: “The primary benefit of apprenticeships for us is working with people who genuinely want to do what we do. We have the opportunity to train them with the very skills that we’re looking for.

“Additionally, a lot of students who go through degree apprenticeships are in fact more dedicated to their studies at university. When they only attend lectures one day a week, they work really hard to take advantage of that time.”

To read more about Clear Structures’ work, click here.