National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is here, and The Hireman want to celebrate the growing success of our first ever apprenticeships!
Did you know that apprenticeships in the UK date back to medieval times? The first national apprenticeship system of training was introduced in 1563, under which skilled craftsmen, or ‘masters’, would take on up to three apprentices for a minimum of seven years, providing them with bed and board but no wages.
Take a hop skip and a jump to 1986 when the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) was introduced to assess the work-based competencies of apprentices. New minimum standards introduced in 2012 required all apprenticeships to last at least a year, provide 30 hours’ employment a week, offer guided learning and training in maths and English.
We have come a rather long way since the 16th century! Today apprenticeships are an increasingly worthwhile path for people looking to gain valuable on-the-job knowledge and skills in specific industries while also earning a salary.
Why National Apprenticeship Week is important
Now in its 15th year, National Apprenticeship Week showcases the impact and benefits apprenticeships can have on communities, local businesses and regional economies in England.
It celebrates how technical education can help individuals develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career and encourages employers to create a workforce with future-ready skills.
The National Apprenticeship Week theme for 2022 is ‘Build the Future’. This theme links to the key pillars of the government Build Back Better framework:
TRAIN – Future-proofing our workforce and careers through apprenticeships.
RETAIN – Apprentices gaining the skills and knowledge businesses need, learning the business’s values and making an impact, and allowing companies to develop the future workforce and talent.
ACHIEVE – Realising the career progression and business benefits available and seeing how apprenticeships can help transform peoples’ futures.
Growing The Hireman family
At the beginning of 2021, after a challenging period for all UK industries, we decided it was time to welcome a new generation to The Hireman family and recruit our first-ever apprentices.
Our HR & people manager Michelle worked hard to find suitable courses and training providers that would strengthen and support the business, integrate with the created roles and ensure our foundations were strong for the learning journey ahead.
The Hireman have a long tradition of developing talent and rewarding those with a continuous commitment to learning by creating opportunities to move into different areas of the business, nurturing our peoples’ skills, strengths and interests, and as a result, providing an ideal environment for any apprentice to succeed and thrive in.
Thoughts from our apprentices
In 2021, we welcomed six apprentices to the business to support our warehouse and driving teams and our finance team. We invited them to share what they are enjoying about their experience so far:
‘I feel like I’m doing something useful with my time and that I’m even becoming competent at something. It’s also made me more certain in my goals for the future. I’ve learnt to keep organised, prioritise different kinds of work and problem solve on the job. I’m more confident now that I can adapt to new situations’ Sunbul, Business Administration & Accounts Apprentice
‘I am enjoying the sense of responsibility. In previous jobs, I felt like a run around with no ownership of work. I now have times when I am managing my own work and I feel trusted in my ability to get things done. Working with other people has helped me with communication. When I first started, I was nervous but after a week I felt like I was at home. My organisation has improved, inside and out of work. I’ve sorted myself out and I now have a structure. I am more confident in myself since joining. The most important thing I’ve learnt so far is about mentality. You’ve got to have the right mentality to say ‘I can do this’.’ Ali (a.k.a Ozzie), Warehouse & Logistics Apprentice
‘I enjoy the fact that I am challenged every day here. No one day comes with the same tasks; there is always a problem that needs solving and I feel my input is greatly valued. Not to mention the bonds I have made with everyone. It’s a great big family that I am proud to be a part of. The comradery here is what most sports teams wish they had. Since moving into the workshop, I happily learn something new every week to sharpen my skills. If there is something you don’t know or you are unaware of there is always someone to educate you in the nicest way possible. I feel fully supported here and I’m grateful for the kindness they’ve shown me.’ Michael (aka Mikey), Warehouse & Logistics Apprentice
Thoughts from The Hireman higher-ups
As our apprentices have been working their way through their course material and building their practical knowledge and skills, their teams and managers have also benefitted from this learning experience.
South general depot manager Nick shared ‘I have been overwhelmed with positive feedback about our apprentices. They have thrown themselves into a brand-new environment without holding back. They have absorbed information like sponges and are already working to such a high standard. This has opened my eyes to the fact that people outside of our industry can come in and learn the trade very quickly and become a great asset to the business.’
The wider teams have embraced the process too, as described by City general depot manager Noel, ‘I have seen our people spending extra time and effort in helping them. The team are excited about our new joiners as we get to pass on our knowledge to them, knowing they have joined us with the intention to learn all they can about our industry. ‘
Accounts supervisor Kirsty shared, ‘The apprentices themselves have also been so motivated to learn and develop in the roles which has been so refreshing to see. The impact on our team has been overwhelmingly positive. The team is quite established, and Sunbul has fitted so well into that dynamic. It has also brought a fresh perspective to the department; we are looking more closely at tasks and asking if things can be done differently or more efficiently, and she is also able to have input in that, putting her own stamp on things.’
The Hireman is proud to be investing in the future
Our apprentices have become valued members of their teams, and their confidence and ability are growing day by day. They have shown their enthusiasm for learning, willingness to get stuck in and aspirations to progress in their careers.
Warehouse & logistics apprentice Michael has moved into the service centre workshop where he has shown a real affinity with the work and a keen interest in training to be a fitter.
Warehouse & logistics apprentice Molly is approaching the endpoint assessment of her apprenticeship but is keen to continue her training to become a driver. A little bit of Hireman history could also be made as Molly would be our first female delivery driver!
The introduction of apprenticeships has been an invaluable endeavour for everyone at The Hireman, and it’s safe to say we are looking forward to creating more opportunities for apprentices to build their future with us.
For more from our managers and apprentices, keep an eye out on LinkedIn for our #NAW2022 postsCONTACT US