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National Apprenticeship Week 2024 – The benefits of apprenticeships

apprentice fixing newt fencing

We’ve spoken to some of Greenfields Countryside Limited’s managers and supervisors to find out how they feel apprentices have helped benefit the business.

Russell Milligan

Contracts Manager

Why did you decide to invest in an apprenticeship scheme?

We wanted to give the younger generation starting out in the world a great opportunity to join our team on an apprenticeship so this could lead on to a future career with us.

We understand that not everyone enjoys learning in the classroom and we provide high quality, on the job training to all members of staff, which they may find easier to pick up in a practical environment.

How has your business benefitted from the apprenticeship scheme?

We have had a number of apprenticeship candidates over the years and we have been lucky enough to offer full time employment to them once their course had been completed. This is due to their hard work and commitment shown from the start which is recognised. We find that apprentices who join us show a real interest in this industry as they have chosen their course rather than someone just looking for any job. Our successful apprentices are considered the future workforce of our company, trained the right way from the start.

How have your apprentices benefitted from working with you during their training?

They benefit from onsite training from us and by listening to the guidance of our highly trained staff members. They gain vital practical skills and knowledge that they need to go alongside their college classroom time.

What advice would you give to employers considering using an apprenticeship scheme for the first time to develop their workforce?

I would highly recommend employers to consider taking on at least one apprentice to see how things go. Have a designated supervisor to help guide their path in your business so you can have regular updates on progress. We have been lucky enough to have had many great candidates who have surprised us just how devoted and hard working they are at such a young age.

Sarah Wake

Office & Accounts Manager

Why did you decide to invest in an apprenticeship scheme?

We are struggling more and more to find good quality staff who are prepared to turn up for an interview, let alone successfully come through the recruitment process and start work with us. Investing in apprentices means we can attract young or new talent into the industry and train them into the employees we need them to be, while keeping costs down for us for the duration of the apprenticeship.

How has your business benefitted from the apprenticeship scheme?

It is a win-win situation for both parties. We can shape them, teach them the skills that they need and find out if they have got what it takes to work in our industry. They can learn on the job, get paid to learn new skills and find out if it is what they really want to do.

How have apprentices benefitted from working with you during their training?

They learn the high standards of health and safety that are required to work in our industry. They learn from our highly experienced managers, supervisors and operatives and become a member of the Greenfields family. They develop a vast amount of training and certification which is essential to demonstrate competence and skill.

What advice would you give to employers considering using an apprenticeship scheme for the first time to help develop their workforce?

Employing apprentices is very time consuming as you have to give them time off the job for training days as well devoting time during the working day for training. However, the rewards vastly outweigh the time spent as you can mould them to your business standard and it is incredibly rewarding watching them grow and develop into highly valued members of staff.

Robert Rushton

Site Supervisor

How has your business benefitted from the apprenticeship scheme?

It’s very beneficial to us as we are taking on people with a genuine interest in the industry which often leads to another valuable member of the Greenfields family.

How have your apprentices benefitted from working with you during their training?

They have gained experience and knowledge from on the ground. Not only do they learn how to deal with the manual side of the job, but they encounter other aspects of work that arise in day to day settings but not at college. For example, dealing with clients, problem solving, and real life health and safety issues that may arise.

As long as their hearts are in it and they come to us with enthusiasm and interest in the work then it’s a win-win for both sides.

What is it like to work with the apprentices you are training?

It’s a great a rewarding experience working with the apprentices, passing on my years of experience and knowledge that I’ve gained to the next generation.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship scheme to other businesses?

100% and I wish they were more readily available when I was younger.

Greenfields Countryside Limited is proud to work alongside SMB College Group who work with hundreds of employers across the UK to support apprentices through their training in a wide variety of sectors.

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