The UK’s leading lifting solutions company, Ainscough Crane Hire, has marked National Apprenticeship Week by catching up with some of this years’ intake to find out how their time with the company has been as they approach the end of their first year.
Ainscough’s apprenticeship scheme is delivered in partnership with Myerscough College in Preston and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and had recruited seven apprentices across the 32 depot network in 2016.
The seven apprentices are completing a four-year NVQ qualification in Plant Maintenance which includes time based at the college’s £4.4 million Engineering Centre, home to its Construction Plant Academy. Ainscough has a mobile crane permanently at the college to enhance the apprentice’s learning experience.
Graham Weights, service support manager, is a part of the team which has overseen the latest intake of apprentices, said: “Crane hire is a niche business and if we don’t train our own engineers for the future we simply won’t have the talent available to us when we need it. At a recent count from 82 engineers, 25 had come through the Ainscough apprenticeship route which demonstrates the importance of this talent stream for the business.
“We take a strategic approach to apprentice numbers these days, factoring in the existing resource and its likely attrition rate over the four year cycle. This means that we have a 90% retention rate of those apprentices which make the grade, the majority of whom do so.
“We have been very impressed with the attitude and approach of this year’s apprentices so far and we are very confident that they will grow with us over the coming months and years.”
Charlie Ferguson, 19, from Gillingham, an apprentice at Ainscough’s Maidstone depot said: “My role is very hands-on and I service cranes on a daily basis, checking differential levels, gear boxes, hub levels and much more.
“Working for Ainscough is a great opportunity and I feel very lucky to be a part of the company. As an apprentice, I get to learn about cranes and in the future, I will be able to do more for Ainscough.”
Top row, left to right – Jack Kenworthy, Aiden Jones and Connor Dodgson. Front row, left to right – Charlie Ferguson, Sam Flynn and Kye Connop.