By Darren Thompson, Head of HR
In the last two decades, apprentices have come to be recognised alongside university and college degrees for their importance in the creation of new and potential talent. Now, as the coronavirus pandemic threatens some of the UK’s major business sectors, increasing numbers of applicants are turning to apprenticeship schemes to develop their skills and knowledge while having the ability to work and earn full‐time.
For apprenticeship suppliers, providing best‐practice training means properly committing to the cause. At Ainscough we have a history of high‐quality teaching and can deliver on our promise to support and educate trainees, providing them with the skills they need to qualify and progress within the industry.
But apprenticeship schemes are a mutually beneficial relationship. It is important from a futureproofing perspective to support people beginning their career from a grassroots level. This will help shape them into valuable and knowledgeable employees who can provide an important service to your company for many years to come. At Ainscough Crane Hire, we have paid into the apprenticeship levy – the UK government’s skills funding scheme ‐ since its inception in 2015 and have invested heavily in the recruitment and development of new learners.
Over the past few years, we have rapidly expanded our apprentice programme offering to accommodate the evolving needs of the company. As well as our long‐standing schemes such as Crane Mechanics, we have also recently introduced trainees into our back offices with apprenticeship roles in wide‐ranging departments such as Procurement, Human Resources and IT.
At Ainscough Crane Hire, we recognise the importance of new talent in driving a forward‐thinking outlook. These exciting new roles form part of our strategic growth plan and are part of our targeted approach to the business’s current areas of investment. We understand the need to look ahead and identify where those future gaps might be in order to maximise our recruitment strategies and generate growth.
That’s why we are currently recruiting for three digital engineering apprentices. Innovative digital technologies have emerged to be a fundamental new feature in build design and planning, with tools such as CAD and BIM allowing our lift planners to model the construction site and perfect blueprints from the comfort of our specialised offices.
It is thanks to the amazing versatility of our teams’ skills that we are able to offer such high‐quality training across all of these areas. Experts breed experts. Our reputation in the marketplace for highly‐qualified and experienced team members attracts huge numbers of candidates. This year we are proud to launch a Mobile Crane Operator apprentice scheme, for which we’ve had over 300 applicants so far from Lancaster to Maidstone. That shows our ability to support the wider industry through the development of important programmes.
Through our long‐term partnerships with a variety of colleges throughout the country, we have been able to develop specialist courses which deliver an advanced learning experience. Our Crane Mechanics largely train at Myerscough College in Preston and we have therefore worked closely with the college’s directorial board to recruit motivated and exemplary candidates. We even donated one of our cranes for the students to train on.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has, of course, presented challenges. However, thanks to our agile approach, we have been able to help our apprentices through their new remote learning and provide further support for their assessments while balancing significant safety measures such as working from home. As the future becomes more certain, we can look to the coming years and prioritise a mix of experienced team members and new talent to maintain momentum and continue to drive our industry forwards.
Ainscough Crane Hire is always looking for the brightest and best in all fields – to find out more about employment and apprenticeship opportunities at Ainscough, please click here.