Strode News

17/03/11 - Top Engineering Firm to take on new Apprentices in Somerset
Strode News

Atkins, the UKs largest engineering and design consultancy, will be recruiting new apprentices from Somerset to join their experienced highways services team this summer.

A recent government commissioned review of vocational education recommended that employers should be encouraged to take on young people by offering apprenticeships, and that young people who leave school without a good level of maths and English should continue to study these subjects while they are in vocational training.  Atkins is already doing this with the help of Strode College in Street, through its highly regarded apprenticeship training programme.

The company, which works on high profile national and international projects such as the 2012 Olympics and flood defence systems, also designs and maintains a range of structures including schools, bridges and motorways.  Its highways services team works in North East Somerset, Bath, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire and on the M25, with Somerset depots based in Glastonbury, Frome, Bridgwater, Taunton, Yeovil and Minehead.

In 2011 Atkins was named as one of the Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work for.  In part this is due to excellent staff training and development and its apprenticeship programme.

In May last year Atkins teamed up with Strode College to deliver a new apprenticeship scheme. Three apprentices from Taunton and Tiverton started work at the Atkins Dunball Depot near Bridgwater, joining five others from Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire to begin the two year training scheme.

The apprentices are learning about highway maintenance and construction. They attend structured training sessions throughout the scheme at one of Atkins specialist training centres and work alongside experienced colleagues as part of a team. Additional training is provided by Strode College tutors at the Atkins depots.  After two years they will achieve a level 2 qualification and will continue working for Atkins.

Scott Cleal, who is 19 and lives in Taunton, became an Atkins apprentice last year. He said: "This scheme gives me qualifications as well as a financial reward and job security. For the past nine months I've been out on site everyday apart from when we are attending training. I don't just think of myself as an apprentice but as part of a team, getting more and more qualified every day."

Mark Harrison, operations training manager with Atkins, said: "Atkins has an experienced and skilled workforce but we need to bring in new blood for the future, which is where apprenticeships come in. Our apprenticeship scheme allows staff to adapt to our culture, and our way of learning and working. Our investment in them has lead to reliable and motivated staff.

"We teamed up with Strode College to deliver our apprenticeships because they understand what we want to do and a great partnership has grown from sharing ideas. We employ 16 apprentices at the moment and plan to recruit 12 more this summer. We will be looking for the right person rather than the right qualifications, so enthusiasm and determination will be important."

The new Atkins apprenticeships will be advertised in June and July 2011 on the Atkins and National Apprenticeships websites.

To find out more about apprenticeships call Strode College on 01458 844476, or visit: www.strode-college.ac.uk