Pickerings Lifts is delighted to be supporting National Apprenticeship Week 2019, we are committed to the recruitment of apprentices, offering them the opportunity to learn our business and benefit from first-class training.
The 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week, will run from 4 to 8 March and is a celebration of apprentices.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to start your career. You get the opportunity to learn on the job, work alongside some fantastic people with years of experience and gain a lot of useful qualifications… all while getting paid!
Here at Pickerings Lifts, we are dedicated to growing and nurturing our apprentices, and we have been doing so since we opened our doors in 1854.
So… What does it take to get a young person through their apprenticeship, and who else is involved? Let’s find out…
Our apprentices come to us a variety of different ways. Some start with us after they finish college, others may try a different career path and decide that it is not right for them.
Some of our engineering apprentices start because they have a friend or family member who is a lift engineer and has recommended it as a career to them. In fact… We have several father/son engineers across the country!
Apprenticeships last three years, with engineering apprentices then becoming fully-qualified lift repair engineers.
If they stay with Pickerings Lifts they will get their own van and engineering route to look after. They may even decide go into management in the future.
We recruited three engineering apprentices in 2018, and are looking to recruit even more in 2019.
Our newest apprentices are working on their qualifications and going out with engineers on callouts and repairs.
Which leads us to…
All our engineering apprentices are partnered up with a qualified engineer. When the apprentice is not at college, they go out with their engineer on their route, helping them service and repair lifts, picking up skills and knowledge as they go.
Many of our qualified engineers started out as apprentices too, so they know the importance of training their young protégés well, answering their questions and mentoring them through their new roles.
As one of our engineers said: “I’ve worked alongside several apprentices while I’ve been here and I try and teach them all the best I can.
“If an apprentice has the right attitude, is willing to work hard and learn, then they have the makings of a really good engineer.”
Our engineering apprentices report to our Customer Support Managers (CSMs). Our CSMs take responsibility for all engineers and apprentices in their allocated region.
Most of our CSMs were former engineers, so they know exactly what our apprentices are going through, and what support they need to be successful in their burgeoning careers.
CSMs will regularly meet with their apprentices to see how they are getting on, both at college and with the engineers, arranging additional help and support if needed.
THE SUPPORT TEAMS
Although the apprentice will have the most contact time with engineers and their CSM, all other staff at Pickerings Lifts play an important part too.
From the administration staff at the regional offices who let the apprentice know which callouts they are helping out on, through to the HR team that arranges and facilitates their training and the IT team who kit our apprentices out with the phones and tablets that enable them to do their jobs, everyone in the company has a part to play!
We work alongside specialist training providers to train our apprentices up and award them their National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).
All our qualified lift repair engineers need to be trained to at least NVQ Level 3, and this is the qualification that our apprentices work towards through their three years with us.
Apprentices study for their NVQ ‘on the job’ while they are working alongside our engineers, gathering the evidence that they need to sign off on their qualification as they go, using an app on their tablet to record and log the work they have done in an online portfolio.
They regularly meet with an assessor, who reviews the work they have done, ensuring the apprentice is on track to achieve their qualification.
As well as ‘on the job’ training, the apprentice attends their local college on a regular basis to study for additional qualifications, as well to learn parts of their role that they may not be able to do on callouts (for example, how to create and understand engineering drawings).
They work alongside the teachers at the college (who may have been engineers before they decided to go into the education sector) to go through their work and ensure that they are safe to go out with our qualified engineers.
So as you can see… it takes a wide range of people to help and support an apprentice… from newbie through to qualified engineer!