Here is an interesting article written by our MD about apprentices…
Apprentices have been a key part of the success of GW Power. I myself started out as an Apprentice after not achieving my full potential at school, the scheme through Hull College was excellent at the time. It picked me up, brushed me off and set me on a positive path.
I am time served and worked as a site based electrician for a few years. I was also ambitious and seized the opportunity to climb the career ladder which took me off my tools and into the office environment, where I became a estimator and manager at quite a young age.
In 2014 I was made redundant from the company I worked for. In hindsight this was a blessing in disguise as I set up GW Power-Safe.
Knowing I had been a vital resource in the past as an apprentice, I immediately took on my own and went back to my tools which I really enjoyed to get the business moving. I trained him to work alongside me.
Because I know how important Apprentices are and how good it was for me personally, I am very passionate about helping people who could be in the same mindset and situation that I was.
I really want to encourage other local companies to take on an Apprentice – the benefits are huge. Firstly from a financial point of view, you get an extra pair of hands in your business at very low cost. We couple our apprentices up with an experienced and fully qualified engineer, they start out doing basic tasks, freeing up the qualified guys to undertake more advanced work, whilst getting the vital hands-on experience. This in turn enables us to be more competitive in the marketplace and, we are able to take on more work to grow our business.
The Apprentice gets to learn while they earn and although it starts off with a low salary, they receive training and support to help them achieve more. We tend to throw ours in at the deep end so they get to experience the job in full, rather than hanging around on the side lines waiting to be told what to do.
Sometimes I hear negative comments about young people, that they are lazy and afraid of a hard day’s work but I haven’t found this with any of the apprentices that have worked for us. I believe that if you find the right person, give them the right training and provide them with lots of support they will blossom in front of your eyes.
It’s such a rewarding experience for a young person come into the business and be able to watch them grow in confidence, ability and experience.
Our team thrives in a positive working culture and environment. I believe this has to come from the top down so it becomes contagious. We set our expectations, clean uniform, clean vehicles, positive attitude towards colleagues and clients, arrive on time, look for the solution, don’t dwell on the problem and never criticise another tradesperson’s work.
The result for us has been very low staff turnover. We’ve had 9 apprentices in 5 years aged 16-24 years. All but one of these have stayed within GW Power-Safe and he only left to join his family business.
I enjoy encouraging and pushing our apprentices to climb the ladder and I’d really love to see them take over the business one day.
I myself value support from the mentors in my life, both on a personal and professional level. We all need people to turn to for advice and support and I feel happy and proud to know that I have people that look at me that way.
So my advice to you is just do it, go and find an apprentice today, you won’t regret it!