Multi-disciplinary engineering firm adi Group’s original approach to addressing the UK skills gap bore fruit last Friday 8th June, when they celebrated the flying colour graduation of all 10 students on their unique Pre-Apprentice Scheme at a special ceremony at its Birmingham headquarters.
And so convinced of the value of the scheme are adi that they’re inviting companies, both in the engineering sector and beyond, to replicate its success by making use of the proven concept – for free.
Students from North Bromsgrove High School close to adi’s Kings Norton HQ had spent one day a week over two years learning new, in-demand skills from adi’s own in-house mentors, while completing GCSE modules, earning themselves an EAL qualification and making significant headway towards their Level 2 achievement.
The evening ceremony, attended by the students in university-style graduate gowns, their proud parents, senior adi Group management and Birmingham Northfield MP, Richard Burden, as well as a number of senior figures from elsewhere in the community and the West Midlands Combined Authority, was used to officially award the ten youngsters their EAL qualification certificates.
To underline the boys’ and girls’ sterling achievements and the inspirational value of the scheme, it was also announced on the night that four of the ten who had applied for a full-time apprenticeship at adi Group had been accepted on to the programme, with a fifth applicant needing to complete a few more details before progressing his application.
adi Group CEO Alan Lusty believes, with all the components in place, other companies wishing to get involved can not only copy the adi template but also mine the firm’s knowledge in getting the ball rolling for themselves.
Alan said, “In our Pre-Apprenticeship Programme, we have proof of a wonderful concept that benefits us all – as individuals, as employers, as a community and as a country. We believe that, if other companies copy what we have created, we can help bring about a sea change, not just in the engineering sphere but in a number of key economic sectors.
I can tell you, from personal experience, that inspiring young people as early as possible really works. So, I’d urge any businesses looking to make a difference to get in touch. We’d be very happy to pass on our concept and our knowledge of its delivery at zero cost.”
Launched in 2016, the UK-first pre-apprenticeship course was specifically designed by adi to give 14-16 year olds the opportunity to gain hands-on mechanical and electrical engineering skills and experience in a real world environment and aims to show youngsters how rewarding and diverse an engineering career can be.
That the students have already made progress towards their NVQ Level 2, along with the continuity involved in returning to adi for the next stage in their learning, means the four/five students accepted for full-time apprenticeships are expected to hit the ground running when they begin in September.
Alan Lusty said, “People and skills are central to what we do as a company. But they are also central to our whole sector and to the broader UK economy. So, we have a responsibility to society to ensure people are equipped with the skills they need to find quality employment and to deliver widespread prosperity.
That starts with youngsters. Not everyone is cut out for university and not all of those thinking about career choices know how great engineering is. So, we try to inspire young minds and to open up new pathways into the profession.”
If your company is interested in finding out more about replicating adi Group’s unique Pre-Apprentice Scheme, please call Martin Smith on 0121 451 2255 or email [email protected].