When One Just Isn't Enough

When One Apprentice Just Isn't Enough

As a company who has seen apprentices become qualified engineers through to senior engineers, supervisors and managers, we are a true supporter and understand the value of this scheme.

According to the Educations & Skills Funding Agency apprenticeship participation is at a record high and there were nearly 500,000 apprenticeships starts in the 2016 to 2017 academic years.

Previous research found that businesses place apprentices at the heart of their plans and that hiring the right staff is the most important factor. 8 out of 10 managers see apprentices as an important part of growing their business and that these managers were five times more likely to believe the company they work for would expand rapidly, than those that don’t.

This is very true of one particular manager who recently put a case forward to add an apprentice to his air conditioning engineering team, here we find out why one just wasn’t enough though!

The Past

Cardiff Service Manager Chris

Our Service Manager in South Wales, Chris has seen a steady growth in his area and due to recent contract wins put a case forward to add to his air conditioning engineering team. Chris is a keen supporter of apprenticeships as this is how he started his career a few years ago.

Back then (although we won’t say how far back!) Chris really struggled finding a company he could work with while progressing through his apprenticeship. A family run, local firm eventually took him on and he never looked back. Chris completed his apprenticeship and worked his way through the ranks, changing companies along the way until he was introduced to us in 2015 where he has settled in to his management role with ease.

The Present

Drawing on his own experience, Chris was very keen to take on an apprentice as he believes that, with his and JCW’s guidance he can help mold a professional engineer. He set about finding a suitable candidate and with the help of his own staff was introduced to some prospects. He shortlisted three candidates, conducted his interviews and came away very confused indeed! When asked why, Chris said:

“I knew the kind of person I was looking for, I had no idea I would find two! Two candidates really impressed me, not only had they passed their basic exams, they conducted research into JCW and read previous apprentice case studies. They had also read up on the issues facing the industry at the moment with the rising cost of refrigerant and new technology that supports the phase down of HFC’s. Showing this initiative and interest meant that I knew I had to employ both.”

Apprentice HVAC Engineer Kian

JCW are proud to have two new apprentices start in our Cardiff office, although their apprenticeships do not start until September, we asked them to join the growing team earlier in July. This gives both a chance to shadow qualified engineers and gain work experience in the office and learning from Chris who is very keen to pass his extensive knowledge on.

We asked Kian about his experience so far, he replied “I knew I wanted to do something in engineering and when I heard about this opportunity with JCW, it sounded great. Now that I have spent some time with the engineers, I’m even more interested than ever.

I’m very excited about starting my course in September and enjoying learning in the meantime, every day is different!”

The Future

Our new recruits will begin their City & Guilds Level 2 NVQ in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in September, the course is for 2 years. For most of their time they will receive essential on the job training while attending college one day a week and will also spend half a day a week with Chris so he can ensure they understand the course work they are learning and how to apply it in real circumstances.

HVAC Engineer Apprentice Cain

When asked why Cain chose to complete his apprenticeship with JCW, he replied:

“I am very keen to forge myself a career and learn a trade which can give me a solid future. I was recommended to approach JCW and I knew they were quite a large company who cared about their staff.

The ‘on the job’ training I am doing at the moment is really interesting and I am taking as much in as I can. I’m very excited about starting the course in September and grateful to JCW for this opportunity which, I want to make the most of it.”

The Importance of Apprentices

With 96% of the UK's employers reporting benefits by recruiting apprentices, it is hard to ignore the fact that apprentices really do make a difference in many number of ways.

JCW fully appreciate the value of all of our apprentices and see them as a unique opportunity to 'grow our own' engineers and administrative staff. We understand that apprentices need to combine their on the job training with out of work learning. It has proved time and again to be an effective way to nurture their skills and provide them support through their transition from student to full time employment.

We are always considering the future of our business and the direction it will take and believe that apprenticeships can therefore provide an invaluable opportunity for both us and the apprentice. They will learn from the experience of our organisation and existing workforce while providing us with their expertise and innovation for the future.

A Career with JCW

If you are an aspiring engineer or administrator who are interested in a career in the building services sector then please get in touch with us. We fully support apprenticeships and believe that apprentices we recruit today really will continue to provide a firm foundation for our company in the future. We welcome individuality and enthusiasm and reward with our full support in your career progression.

If you would like to know more about a career with JCW then please get in touch by clicking here.