Over 500,000 apprenticeships were started across the UK in 2015/2016. On National Apprenticeship Week, Mabey Hire spoke to a number of its own apprentice recruits to see how they are finding the experience.
Michael Hawker and Mathew Foran, both Apprentice Fabricator Welders, joined the UK Hire Garswood Workshop team last year. Michael had been studying for an apprenticeship in Welding and Fabricating and joined Mabey Hire as he came to the end of Level Three - the equivalent to A-Levels. Mathew started the same course from Level One. The courses combine practical training and work in the workshop, alongside studying at Wigan and Leigh College. Michael and Mathew started on a structured training programme that saw them undergo high-level wheel, plasma cutting and some forklift truck training in their first few weeks.
IT Support Representative Isaac Bernasko swapped sixth form college for an apprenticeship with Mabey Hire, and says he hasn't looked back since. He plans to take his apprenticeship even further, starting his IT Professional Level 4 apprenticeship last summer, which is the equivalent to a foundation degree. This means that every couple of months, Isaac completes a week of online webinar training to supplement what he learns in his job.
Isaac said: "I realised when doing my AS Levels that I enjoyed the hands-on side of IT - like repairing hardware. Most employers look for experience when you're applying for jobs, so doing an apprenticeship meant I got the experience and learning at the same time. I'd definitely recommend an apprenticeship to other people my age."
Chief Executive for UK Hire, Gordon MacDonald said: "We're delighted to have these apprentices on board and wish them the best of luck as they develop within the business."