Page 4: Training in action
Apprenticeships are designed to provide the foundation for undertaking key roles within many of the company’s divisions. They equip successful school and college leavers with skilled trades.
Dan, Kurt and Rebecca work in different parts of the business, but have all been shortlisted for the prestigious Cutlers Award. These awards encourage apprentices to expand their knowledge of industry through travel and reading. Each apprentice is developing different skills, showing the variety of approaches that SFIL provides on its apprenticeships.
Joining an apprenticeship
Apprentices come from a variety of backgrounds with varied qualifications. Dan says:
‘I left school with A-levels in Business Studies, General Studies and PE, so not exactly engineering-related subjects, but SFIL has helped me to build up the right skills. I am now on a BTEC level 3 in Materials Engineering, which can eventually lead to a full degree.’
Dan enjoys the ‘family’ atmosphere at SFIL. Many SFIL employees have been with the company for years. This means that he can consult colleagues with plenty of experience as he is working with some of the best people in the industry.
Rebecca has a different background. She says:
‘Being honest, I didn’t do as well in my GCSEs at school as I had wanted. I did beauty therapy at college and worked for a time in a beauty salon and then after that in a call centre but neither gave me the sort of job satisfaction I wanted. I joined SFIL on an apprenticeship in business and administration. This might seem different from the traditional view of an apprenticeship in an industrial area but it works in a similar way. I work in the engineering forge performing a variety of different roles, such as purchasing, as well being the PA to the managing director, which involves setting meetings, managing spreadsheets and reports.’
In the longer term, each apprentice will aim to gain further qualifications and secure their future at SFIL. Each will be able to carve out a career path that suits them and the business. Kurt is planning to take a foundation degree to increase his theoretical knowledge and experience. Rebecca can see herself moving into a purchasing manager role or even into sales or accounts. The open policy at SFIL means apprentices have many different opportunities.