Duncan Firman is a partner at Yorkshire law firm Gordons LLP and works closely with manufacturing businesses across the region. Here he looks at the importance of apprenticeships within the sector.
To enable growth and success, the manufacturing sector needs to inspire young people to choose a career within the industry.
Not only can apprenticeships help manufacturers secure their future talent, it can also offer the next generation an alternative, accessible career path.
Employment from day one
Going into further or higher education isn’t for everyone, especially if an individual’s strengths are more practical, or if they are wanting to get a taste of a working environment. For others, the prospect of studying without having a source of income is unfeasible.
An apprenticeship offers another option. Not only does it provide the opportunity to gain first-hand workplace experience from day one, but it offers employment and a salary.
Having the chance to learn on the job
With an apprenticeship, you’re always learning and developing as you work. Every day, you’ll be working alongside experienced colleagues who will offer practical on-the-job training and guidance. They say learning by doing is the best way, and that’s exactly what you’ll get by undertaking an apprenticeship. It’s that invaluable mix of practical experience and training that provides the forum for an apprentice to gain important technical expertise, but to develop a wider skillset which will have benefits more generally in the world of work, for example, learning how to interact with customers, suppliers and colleagues.
There are so many career opportunities within the manufacturing sector which might not be obvious from a school leaver’s perspective. These include engineering, design, IT, logistics, finance, legal and marketing.
A different perspective
Employing an apprentice gives a manufacturer the opportunity to identify the best talent early and the scope to shape their experience to fit the work requirements of the business and its culture. Having younger members of the team is also great for morale and for the business to have a different perspective which is not affected by years of doing things a certain way. Gordons has certainly found this as a positive to our business, as we fast approach our ninth apprentice year intake.
Our commitment to apprenticeships
At Gordons, we understand the importance of apprenticeships and fully believe that they offer an alternative accessible route for young people to gain valuable work experience and earn a salary, whilst studying and learning in a supportive environment.
We’re proud of our award-winning law apprenticeship programme, which is giving bright young people the opportunity to start a legal career. Not only was it the first scheme of its kind to offer a legal apprenticeship at a degree level, but it was also highly commended by The Law Society for excellence in inclusion and diversity.