Identifying a shortage of skilled workers in the current competitive recruitment market and the need to invest in the regions people, GA Engineering took the decision to work with local colleges to bring apprentices into their workforce. Ranging in ages 18-28, the apprentices all come from different backgrounds and have a range of skills and experience, the apprentices on each site are paired with mentors to help them gain the skills and knowledge to carry out their roles effectively. Some of the younger apprentices will also attend college on ‘day release’ where they will gain their National Certificate in Engineering learning engineering theory to complement their hands-on skills.
Throughout their apprenticeship, the apprentices will be assessed for their Performance in Engineering Operations level 2 where a representative from the Dundee & Angus College (for the Dundee based apprentices) will come to site to witness them working on real projects. The importance of gaining a well-rounded education is something that is not underrated and so the apprentices will rotate around different functions on their sites gaining experience in areas such as machining and inspection. In fourth year, the apprentices will become specialists in one area, this may be an area where there is a skills shortage or where the apprentice has really excelled.
Leading the programme at GA Scotland, Operations Director Colin Maxwell is passionate about giving school leavers and young adults the opportunity to learn new skills and thrive in the working environment, he said, “Apprenticeships offer an excellent foundation for a person to build a career on and give skills that they may not get otherwise. I was an apprentice myself, starting in machining in 1998, it has given me invaluable experience and has allowed me to progress in my career to the role I am in now.
“We know that the apprentices may choose not to stay on the machines for their whole career, they may move into the office or choose to do something else entirely but by giving them this apprenticeship we are offering them a chance to learn from some really experienced people who have a wealth of experience in engineering operations. The value of that can not be underestimated. I’m excited to see how this cohort progress and I’m looking forward to watching them grow into competent professionals.”
Caryn Gibson, Economics Partnership Manager at Dundee & Angus College commented, “Dundee and Angus College are delighted to work with GA Engineering to continue to develop the next generation of engineers.
“An apprenticeship is very much a partnership with the college and the employer to ensure that the individuals are given the very best training that is tailored around both the individual and business needs and is a blend of both technical and theory. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to invest in members of staff helping to retain them and build a strong skilled workforce.
“We very much look forward to working with the GA Engineering Team in the coming months and years”
The GA Engineering apprentice recruitment programme is now full but will open again in Summer next year.