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Apprentices Benefit Businesses in Difficult Times

York College apprentices are demonstrating their value by supporting businesses during the Covid-19 crisis, helping businesses to reboot, recover and plan for growth. Employers are keen to shout about the impact apprentices are having in such unprecedented times.

Systems Engineer Apprentice, Curtis East, has gone the extra mile for his employer, building ventilator cases for hospital use during the pandemic. Sarah Pearson, Office/HR Manager at 10 Squared, in Pocklington, is quick to praise Curtis for his efforts: “We were contracted to provide over 700 parts to build ventilator cases for Smith+Nephew at the very start of the crisis. Curtis really stood out for us at this time, putting himself forward for additional shifts and being extremely versatile. Curtis was ready to get the job done, whatever that entailed. Much of the work was beyond the scope of his usual role and he was determined to contribute and demonstrate his skills and knowledge. It felt good for Curtis and 10 Squared to help the country when our skills were most needed.”

Meanwhile at Deighton Electrical Services, a work experience student has helped to reboot business and been offered an Apprenticeship Electrician role to support the Company through recovery and growth. Director Jack Deighton explains: “Our business is growing and we have recently registered as a limited company. Although the Covid-19 crisis has impacted on us with the retail sector, we have been fortunate to keep working on the domestic side of things with barn conversion projects, where social distancing can be easily maintained. Over the last year we had a student from Huntington School on work experience who was very keen and eager to learn. With business expanding, for the first time we can offer an Apprentice Electrician opportunity, delivered in partnership with York College. I did an apprenticeship myself and think it is an excellent way to learn and gain work experience, and to bring new blood into the industry.”


Similarly, York College found the perfect apprentice for Light Gauge Steel Framing in Elvington. Sam Pallant started work in the company’s drawing office in November 2019 and has since worked on a wide range of projects, helping out other members of the CAD team and working on his own. He has worked on small projects like summer houses, to large projects, such hotel extensions and modular buildings. During the pandemic Sam has worked from home on a project and has demonstrated how quickly he has got to grips with his role in the Draughting team. He has shown he can work under pressure in a methodical and positive way and is a great asset to the Business. Draughting Manager, Daley Wharton, says: “If Sam carries on as he has started, he has a very bright future as his career develops.”

York College is working closely with employers who appreciate the value of Apprenticeships. For example, Baba Ganoush Catering, in York, is looking to recruit two apprentices, and can provide a superb training ground for young chefs in an award-winning kitchen. Matthew Hyde (Co-owner and Chef Patron) has himself experienced the value of learning on-the-job. He developed industry skills and knowledge which also had a positive impact on his self-esteem, motivation and achievement. He found his passion and excelled in his apprenticeship and has not looked back.

At Britcab Ltd in Easingwold, Director Richard Wilson is delighted that the business is making steady progress in difficult times, and appreciates the role and impact apprenticeships can have. The company is utilising Apprenticeships, with the help of York College, not only to support an existing member of staff to upskill to be a qualified Electrician, but also to bring fresh talent into the organisation. Richard says: “We are also thrilled to be taking on a new member of staff as an Apprentice to help in the office. She will follow the Level 3 Business Administration Course at York College to enhance her prospects, and hopefully encourage her to stay with the business. These two additions will take our total current apprentices with York college to six! We look forward to continuing to work closely with the College going forward.”

Kerry Jephson, Head of Business Development at York College says: “The value and impact of Apprenticeships for business recovery and growth has never been more relevant. As businesses emerge from these challenging times Apprenticeships are the ideal solution to retrain and upskill existing staff to support changes in business strategy, focus, recovery and growth, as well as enabling the recruitment of new talent into organisations. York College’s Business Development team can work with organisations to identify the most appropriate form of skills training required to support business strategy.”

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