Apprenticeships in Action - Nova Jackson from Yorkshire Water
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO EMPLOY AN APPRENTICE/APPRENTICES?
At Kelda we have an ageing workforce whereby a significant number (23%) of operational colleagues could leave the business within the next 5 years. A decline in the number of operational colleagues, as large as this, will cause a significant impact on skills transfer and knowledge sharing. With these issues in mind we developed a people strategy aimed at delivery over five years from 2015 – 2020. This plan involved addressing key issues around future skill provision due to retirement in the mechanical electrical field. Due to this niche area in the local employment market, skills are hard come by, therefore we are supporting our local communities by attracting new talent in an alternative way; through the introduction of apprenticeships.
PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE/ HIGHLIGHT
Our highlights of running our Apprenticeship Programme comes from watching the apprentices develop and transform into fully qualified Engineers, a real asset to Yorkshire Water.
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE BENEFITS OF APPRENTICES IN YOUR BUSINESS
Apprentices bring innovation to the workplace, they bring new ideas and ways of working, increasing Yorkshire Waters productivity and efficiency. By aligning apprentices to mentors within the business, the level of engagement from employees has risen significantly, strong relationships and bonds are being created across the business. We are ensuring a transfer of knowledge from our experienced staff to our new recruits so that the wealth of knowledge within the business isn’t lost within the next 5-year period.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF OFFERING AN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME OVER OTHER TRAINING OR EDUCATION?
As the water industry is so niche, it is hard to find candidates with the level of experience needed to fill water treatment roles. By recruiting talent with limited knowledge of the industry, we can develop their skills by providing them with qualifications and experience. Working with training providers, it allows us to tailor their learning to fit our organisational needs. This increases engagement, efficiency and retention rates.