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Home-grown experts are a hit

Home-grown experts are a hit

It’s impossible to miss the government’s drive to encourage companies to use apprenticeships as a route to employment and vocational training, and we weren’t going to pass up an opportunity to take on some local budding talent.  Like many SME’s in the Engineering sector, skilled and experienced staff are hard to come by, so growing our own made perfect sense. Nathan Jones is undertaking an apprenticeship as a Toolmaker through SETA (Southampton Engineering Training Association) and has been working with us for almost a year.  I spoke to him to find out how he’s getting on and whether it is what he expected, now that he’s a year down the vocational road to qualification.  Nathan said that up until he started the apprenticeship he hadn’t secured a job in engineering, in spite of having completed a BTEC qualification, and was really keen to get some hands on work; an apprenticeship seemed like the right answer.  In terms of his expectations of the Company, he said, “Martin’s has turned out to be more of a relaxed environment than I was expecting.  I love the team I work with, we get on well and we get stuck in”.  When asked about how he’s finding the work, he said “…it’s great; I thought I was mainly going to be sat at a computer using CAD, which is needed for the design work, but I’m also making things.  Talking to the other guys at college, the work I’m allowed to do here is more advanced than theirs.  The college work is interesting, but I love working here, getting hands on with everything”.

Martin's Rubber Apprentices

Martin’s Rubber Apprentices

Elle Chivers joined the team just last week as a Sales Administrator and will be learning through Southampton City College.  Having only been here a week, she’s still finding her feet, but when asked why she chose an apprenticeship scheme, her answer is clear, “Lots of people my age go to university, come out with huge debts and still can’t get a job because they don’t have any experience.  I just wanted to get my foot on the ladder and get hands-on with work.”  Although Elle has already completed a BTEC in Business Studies, an apprenticeship scheme seemed like a good way to open a door into business, and to find a structured route into a career. From the Company’s perspective, of course, there are always risks in taking on and training new staff – but at least this way we get to mould and develop our own experts, with structured learning through their training providers in support of the practical experience; as far as I can tell, it’s win-win.  

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