Thousands of young people choose to start their careers with an apprenticeship; and one place that’s dedicated in ensuring those young people gain those opportunities is Moulton College with their wide range of apprenticeship programmes.
“You can’t learn to be a farmer without actually doing it. There’s no better way to learn something than doing something, therefore the apprentices benefit from getting that hands on, real life, real work experience.”
The All Things Team spoke with Georgina Burton, Programme Leader for Apprenticeships and Peter Thom, Employer Engagement Officer to discuss the apprenticeships they currently offer, why the college are so passionate about providing the opportunities for apprentices and why employers benefit from having an apprentice in their business. And how together the three make the perfect working relationship that benefits all:
Lots of young people are now investing in apprenticeships, because they feel it’s the best pathway to go down rather than carrying on at school or going to college to study a full-time course. An apprenticeship at Moulton College allows you to progress your career by combining learning at work with a programme of study, which helps to build skills and achieve nationally recognised qualifications. Moulton College currently offer over 30 land based apprenticeship programmes across a range of sectors and levels; including 85% construction based, then the rest in agriculture and animal welfare. These are achievable over 3 levels Intermediate (equivalent to five GCSEs), Advanced (equivalent to two A Level passes) and Higher (this can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above).
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic alternative to full time sixth form or college” says Georgina, “For a lot of people, an apprenticeship is the best option for if you want to be out there actually doing something, rather than sitting in a classroom. It’s the fast route to a career without the debt!” Peter said. “We can offer top up apprenticeships to go onto managerial roles and most employers prefer the accredited training route rather than a degree route, because of the top quality training they receive here. We even offer our existing staff the chance to top-up their careers through apprenticeships!”
However, most schools won’t offer apprenticeships as an option to their students. Therefore, the college like to ensure the local schools are aware that their students know that apprenticeships are available to them and that it is a viable option.
“I came into this role because I passionately believe that the best way to learn your trade is to do your trade” Georgina commented. With passionate staff and advisors at the college, they can work with both the apprentice and the employer and are benefiting from the working relationship and ensuring they are both on track.
So why do people choose Moulton College to do an apprenticeship? Moulton College aim to give their apprentices real life skills and experience. According to statistics, 71% of apprenticeships last year were in business, administration and other similar roles. However, Moulton College understand that those jobs are not necessarily in those areas, therefore because their apprenticeships are mostly in construction and land based, Moulton College’s apprentices are learning a trade and are earning and learning towards a career for life.
Moulton College are fortunate to have world class facilities in order to support their apprentices work, including their farm for the animal welfare apprentices and the extensive grounds which the horticulture apprentices use in order for the college to give their apprentices as real of an experience as possible. “Whatever a student does in a full-time education environment is always slightly altered, whereas with an apprenticeship the experience the apprentice receives is all real” Georgina explains. “You can’t learn to be a farmer without actually doing it. There’s no better way to learn something than doing something, therefore the apprentices benefit from getting that hands on, real life, real work experience.”
Moulton College are proud to have a really high progression rate for their apprentices, as most of the apprentices are kept on by their original employers in their roles after their apprenticeship ends. “Once you train as a plumber or in a similar trade, you will have those skills for life” said Peter. “For someone who is relatively good at their subject but doesn't want to sit in the classroom anymore and is keen on how things work, that is the perfect mixture for someone who wants to do an apprenticeship here at Moulton College”.
At Moulton College, every apprentice that comes to the college is required to be employed by a local employer before they can progress onto the apprenticeship programme. Or if someone approaches the college, is looking to start an apprenticeship programme, then the college can work with the apprentice to match them to the right employer and job role. “We have a responsibility to work with the apprentice and the employer to ensure the relationship is working and an obligation to provide high quality training towards their apprenticeship” Georgina said.
Moulton College believe that providing an employer with a local apprentice isn’t just about a business having another person working for them, but it’s about having a young person or new talent with fresh ideas that can help your company grow and in return, that company can help grow and mould the apprentice to how they want them to work.
From an employer perspective, some employers don’t realise the benefits of what an apprentice could do for their business. Those employers who have experienced it, know just how much an apprentice can help their business soar. Some employers are essentially terrified of the process of taking on an apprentice, therefore the college want to work with more local employers to ensure them that they don’t need to be.
The college works with the employer to match an apprentice that will suit their business and with expert advisors who have all worked in the industry relevant to the apprenticeship, they can ensure the employer and the apprentice are meeting standards and are working well together through scheduled meetings and assessments. “For some of the employers we work with, this might be the first time they’ve hired an apprentice, therefore our advisors can help employers demystify the misconceptions of apprenticeships and by doing so, we can support more apprentices going into the workplace”.
Moulton College host regular employer open evenings to encourage employers to come in and talk to the advisors on how an apprentice can benefit their business and answer any questions they may have. Moulton College are always looking for more employers to approach them who are interested in hiring an apprentice. Peter commented by saying: “if an employer has a thought that an apprentice will help support their business, we want to help them. There isn’t enough employers to help apprentices, so as a college, we need to get more employers in to make them aware on the massive benefit an apprentice can bring to their business.”
Moulton College’s apprenticeship schemes have been so successful, that they are now finding some of their previous apprentices coming back as managers of their own businesses looking to hire an apprentice from the college, because they know how beneficial an apprenticeship was to them. Some employers have given feedback to the college saying having an apprentice has actually made their own employees more productive when the apprentice was around them. Therefore, it sets an example and helps to upskill your whole workforce.
All together, Moulton College staff and advisors, the apprentices and the employers all work together in a 3 way working relationship to ensure this fantastic apprentice scheme is a success and works for everyone.
To find out more on what apprenticeships Moulton College currently offer, visit their website at www.moulton.ac.uk or call 01604 491131. Or if you would like to apply for an apprenticeship at Moulton College, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.