The class of 2017 will leave the Scunthorpe site of a leading engineering training provider this month – and all but a handful have secured places with employers.
Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) has made a firm commitment to continue its efforts to find employers for the remaining apprentices and to continue a success story which has seen the centre make its mark in industry.
HETA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, opened its centre at Foxhills in 2014 and has now sent three cohorts of engineering apprentices into the world of work. At the end of this month the current crop of 42 will leave, with another intake of up to 50 due to arrive in September.
Joanne Rowland, HETA’s Centre Manager at Foxhills, said: “This is a relatively new site and it takes time to raise awareness among young people about the opportunities that we offer and among employers about the quality of apprentices that we are producing.
“But gradually we are getting the word out there and receiving positive responses. We are recruiting now for September and demand is higher than last year. We are also getting more support from businesses, with the result that young people have a better chance of continuing their high-quality training with employers.”
About 10 of this year’s Foxhills apprentices were matched up with employers when they started their training in September. Mike Ahern, HETA’s Training and Development Adviser, is responsible for strengthening links with employers, and for ensuring the apprentices build on their engineering skills.
He said: “The apprentices work on their CVs and interview techniques and make site visits to the employers, who also visit Foxhills to see the type of work being done and what the apprentices are capable of.
“My message to employers is that HETA is well established and has a good name. It was set up by employers, the instructors are engineers and as an organisation it therefore understands what employers are looking for.
“From day one there is a strong work ethic and an appropriate working environment. The apprentices mature very quickly and are given the opportunity to think for themselves. All but four now have employers and three of those have interviews coming up. We keep trying until everyone gets fixed up.”
Greg Mell, who is 19 and lives in Crowle, has secured a place at Wren Kitchens. He said: “I did AS levels in maths and physics at college and then studied maths in the second year but it was too classroom-based and when I heard about HETA at a careers event I decided to move into engineering.”
Laura Codlin, 17, from Scunthorpe, will join Volteck Ltd of Gainsborough. She said: “When I was at school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I was good at history and geography and thought about teaching but I didn’t fancy going through university.
“My dad works at the steelworks and read about HETA in the paper. My careers advisers told me about the HETA open days so I went to one and then tried a taster evening for electrical engineering. We wired up a light switch and I found it fun!
Pictured: Staff members Joanne Rowland (centre), Lucy Jessop and Mike Ahern with some of the Foxhills apprentices of 2017.