Siemens apprentices teach pupils and parents all about the apprenticeship pathway.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week earlier this year, Siemens invited some of its engineering apprentices to attend recruitment fairs run by local schools to share their experiences.
Apprentices were invited to volunteer for these events, and many were eager to take part, mainly because they felt that apprenticeships were not often highlighted or encouraged when they were in school.
“I believe very strongly in the promotion of apprenticeships as when I was in sixth form I got very little support or guidance on apprenticeships,” highlights third year apprentice Fergus Sykes.
“I have often found that I am a very hands-on learner and that a full-time classroom environment is not something that suits me,” continues Leah Barlow, a fourth year apprentice at Siemens. “The university route was the only option suggested to me by my college, so I am eager to show that there is another option and that an apprenticeship is a brilliant way to start your career.”
The apprentices’ role at the events was to promote apprenticeships in general and also highlight the variety of apprenticeships the company provides.
“That was fairly easy as there is such a vast array of areas that Siemens provides apprenticeships in - all the way from mechanical and electrical engineering to marketing and business management,” says Fergus.
“My work involved approaching parents and students and explaining to them what Siemens does, what the apprenticeship entails and then giving them a demonstration,” says Jake Farrugia, a first year apprentice. “This gave them an insight to the sort of kit that the engineering apprentices get to work with.”
The apprentices got a real kick from taking part and felt positive that views on apprenticeships are changing.
“It was a really great experience talking to enthusiastic parents as well as students and helping them find something which they may not have even thought possible if they were going to go down the traditional route of college and university,” Leah says.
“My highlight of the day was seeing that there were so many parents who were very supportive and their own questions. I have often found in the past that the parents can be the hardest to convince, so it was really nice to see there has been some movement in apprenticeships not being seen as a second class to a degree.”
As well as helping the next generation to learn more about apprenticeships and engineering in particular, the events gave the apprentices a chance to practice their soft skills - especially public speaking.
“I would say I have developed my presentation, communication and people skills at this event,” Jake notes.
“I have found that events like these have improved my confidence in groups and that speaking in front of large groups has become more second nature, as sometimes it could feel daunting,” Leah concludes.
Updated September 2016.