Gen II welcomes its biggest intake of new apprentices
Published at 15:28, Friday, 13 September 2013
Training provider Gen II has welcomed 185 new apprentices this year – its highest ever intake.
The Workington firm works with around 200 employers in West Cumbria and has more than 1,000 apprentices on its books.
Twenty-one per cent of its latest cohort are female, compared with the national average of three per cent.
Mike Smith, chief executive, said: “We have enlightened employers in the west, which I think is the reason why so many females have been taken on this year.
“We have also worked hard to promote the role of females in technical and engineering roles.”
Jessica Wilson, 16, of Whinlatter Gardens, Workington, did her GCSEs at Southfield Technology College and decided that sixth form was not the route for her.
She said: “I didn’t want to go on to do A-levels and then to university because of the cost involved.
“I’m studying mechanical engineering with Tata Steel and I hope to stay on with them once I’ve finished my apprenticeship.”
Gen II said around 98 per cent of its trainees move straight into employment after finishing its programme and the other two per cent go on to higher education.
Popular apprenticeships this year include mechanical and electrical maintenance, system and control, mechanical and electrical design and fabrication welding.
Gen II works with about 200 companies on its apprenticeship schemes.
Carl Robertson, 18, of Udale Court, Workington, is one of the new recruits.
He initially studied a bricklaying apprenticeship at Lakes College at Lillyhall, but after finishing the course he decided he wanted to do mechanical engineering.
He said: “I’m doing the course with Tata Steel. It’s a good career and I’ve always been interested in it.
“I think it’s a good idea to have apprenticeships because it means that people don’t have to follow the traditional route of going to university and they can learn more on the job while getting paid.”
Kieran Messenger, 18, of Moor Road, Stainburn, had applied for apprenticeships since he was 15 and was finally taken on by Tata Steel this year.
The former Lakes College student will study mechanical engineering, which takes 42 months.
He said: “I had nine interviews to get this apprenticeship so it was pretty tough.
“My family encouraged me to go for an apprenticeship and because my brother did an apprenticeship it inspired me to go for it.”
Kieran and Jessica are two of 18 apprentices taken on by Tata Steel, based in Workington.
Chris Bennett, senior operations manager at Tata Steel, said: “Apprentices are vital to the firm because we’ve got to continue to be here and we’re investing in our future and these young people’s futures.”
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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