At Baldwin & Francis we are incredibly proud to have apprentices as part of our team. With two apprentices at B&F, and an additional eight at our sister company Inspec, they are valued members of the business.
B&F have been employing apprentices for the last seven years, bringing in a fresh cohort of talent each year, including three new apprentices for this year (2023).
There is such a wide range of benefits to offering apprenticeships, both for the apprentices and B&F, and this is highlighted by the long-standing success of our apprenticeship scheme.
As a school leaver, it can be challenging to know what steps to take next. After fourteen years of continuous education, many students are ready to take on a more practical approach to learning or are ready to enter the world of work. An apprenticeship is a fantastic option as it is a combination of both, allowing those on the scheme to gain work experience, while also working towards a qualification simultaneously.
Arguably the biggest benefit to completing an apprenticeship, at any level, is the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. Unlike alternative educational courses that are classroom based, an apprenticeship offers learning first-hand. Getting to work alongside experienced industry experts on a range of real-life projects is an invaluable way to learn and progress within the field. At B&F, we have team members who have been in the industry for over 40 years, providing our apprenticeships with invaluable insight into a career in engineering.
“If I’m installing a control panel on site, I’m learning much more than being sat in a classroom. You can learn so much more in a day than you can in an entire semester.” Tom Oakley, Assistant Control Systems Engineer Apprentice
Variety within a job role is key for satisfaction and becoming a fully rounded employee. Apprenticeships are fantastic for offering this as there is the opportunity to work across different areas of engineering and work on a range of different projects across all B&F’s sectors. Doing this means apprentices can get a real feel for what areas of engineering they enjoy and what career path they would like to pursue.
Whether choosing to stay on at B&F or following a different path, completing a degree apprenticeship puts our apprentices in an incredibly competitive position when entering the market. Being able to demonstrate a combination of both knowledge and experience is extremely attractive to future employers. This is not only due to specialist engineering knowledge, but also the experience of working within a professional environment and having been exposed to business challenges and proactive problem solving.
Responsibility & Independence
Gaining independence at the beginning of a career can be challenging. An apprenticeship at B&F is the perfect place to achieve this. Developing skills and gaining knowledge week on week allows our apprentices to quickly advance and start to take on more responsibility. This helps to equip them for working at a more senior level in the future. In order to ensure everyone receives this opportunity, all apprentices are required to undertake a project management role on a project, allowing the development of crucial management and organisational skills. Throughout the entirety of our apprenticeship scheme, apprentices are encouraged to ask for help whenever needed, allowing further growth.
One of the many benefits to completing an apprenticeship at B&F is the future opportunities available to our apprentices. Post completion, successful apprentices are offered a 2-year contract to continue working at B&F, something which can be done seamlessly as they are already fully integrated within our team.
An Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) survey conducted in 2021 revealed that almost 50% of engineering companies struggle with the lack of skills available in the external labour market. By offering apprentice schemes, we are able to work towards closing the skills gap that exists in the industry, by training people up and allowing them to learn on the job.
First beginning in 1919, we are very proud of our heritage at B&F. We are renowned for our tailor-made solutions and quality is always our top priority. It is this ethos that has earned us global recognition and long-standing relationships with our clients. By employing aspiring engineers at an apprentice level, we are able to teach them the importance of our history and tailor their education in line with our processes and techniques.
IET’s 2021 survey highlighted that there are significant difficulties within recruitment in the engineering industry. Training and nurturing our own apprentices gives us direct access to a talent pool of highly skilled engineers. This gives us competitive advantage within the industry, while also helping to reduce to the cost and time involved in recruiting externally.
“It never fails to amaze me how quickly the apprentices are delegated substantial roles working on live critical infrastructure projects and the confident, dedicated attitude they have towards these. It prepares them for the working environment and the challenges that can be faced.” – Lucy MacBeth, Customer Support & Marketing Executive
AT B&F we are dedicated to continually offering exceptional apprenticeship experiences, supporting professional growth, embracing diversity, and contributing to a thriving engineering industry.
For more information on our apprenticeships, contact us today.