Celebrating National Apprenticeships Week

Feb 6, 2024

Celebrating National Apprenticeships Week

At EngineeringUK we’re big advocates of apprenticeships being an excellent route into engineering and technology careers, however we’re also proud to employ our own apprentices. To celebrate National Apprenticeships Week, we caught up with 3 colleagues involved in apprenticeships at EngineeringUK to hear about their benefits from the perspective of a HR professional, a line manager and an apprentice.


Chat with Abby Hickling, our Senior HR Manager   

Q: What are the benefits of apprenticeships to the organisation?

A: Getting entry level talent into an organisation is always positive. You get new views and experiences from that person as well as having the opportunity to work with a young person and see them grow and flourish in their role.  We have worked with some really talented apprentices who have added huge value to our organisation.

Q: What’s different for the HR team when you employ an apprentice?

A: You need to remember that this person may not have experienced an office or corporate environment before. Induction needs to be tailored and a buddy can be helpful for them. They are still learning whilst in role and this needs to be accounted for in terms of time away from work to study, as well as provision of appropriate learning opportunities.

Q: What have you learned from recruiting apprentices?

A: We have made some great hires and also learnt a few lessons along the way. You need to work with a good provider if using a third party to engage the apprentice and you need to really think carefully about induction as well as ongoing line management support for them. They have different needs and may not always be confident in making their voice heard.

Q: What would you say to an organisation thinking about taking on an apprentice?

A: Do it! You have the chance to help a young person develop and grow in their chosen field and provide a meaningful entry into the world of work for them.


Chat with Folahan Adegoke, our Head of Finance   

Q: What are the benefits of having an apprentice in your team?

A: Having an apprentice in my team enables us to provide an invaluable opportunity to a young person taking their first steps in the workplace. It provides us with a valuable resource within the team in someone ready to take on the more basic tasks within the team from a viewpoint of seeking to learn, which builds up their understanding of principles that will serve them well in the longer term. An apprentice is often a very relatable individual – often reminding us of ourselves at a younger age and stage of our careers, so is more likely to be taken under the wing by members of the team, which fosters an overall togetherness.

Q: What have you learned from your experience of managing apprentices?

A: It is a hugely rewarding experience from a personal, team and organisational perspective. We have so much more to give back to young people than we realise and apprenticeships offer an easy and relevant way of doing so. It’s also a great way for a young person to truly determine whether a career path they have in mind is actually the right one for them.

Q: What would you say to a line manager thinking about taking on an apprentice?

A: I would highly recommend it, particularly in a Finance team where the basic tasks tie in so much with content in their lectures. It also offers greater chances of employee retention in your team. For the duration of the apprenticeship, which is likely to be 2-3 years, an apprentice is usually more focused on gaining experience and passing exams rather than chasing pay or progression prospects elsewhere, which can be a risk with staff further along in their career journeys.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to say?

A: Apprentices are likely to have reached a maturity stage by the time they complete their course where they are better equipped for greater challenges within the organisation or elsewhere. Having successfully overseen the development of 2 apprentices so far in my current role, I would always encourage having one within any teams I manage.  

If more companies embrace the concept of apprenticeships, it will serve as a pipeline to getting many more young people into the job market.


Chat with Rob Elliot – Finance apprentice, AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting - Basic Bookkeeping

Q: What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship for people starting their careers?

A: An apprenticeship is a great way to learn practically on the job whilst also studying for qualifications at the same time.

Q: What has been the best thing about your apprenticeship so far?

A: Stepping outside my comfort zone and developing an array of new skills. It has encouraged me to communicate and challenge myself in the workplace and to push myself not just individually but as part of a team.

Q: What would you say to a young person thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

A: An apprenticeship is a great way to step out into the bigger world, with a job whilst studying on the job training. I highly encourage more people to take on the apprenticeship schemes that are being offered as it’s a great opportunity to develop yourself.


To find out more about benefits of apprenticeships and how to hire an apprentice for your organisation visit: www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/    

For more information about the different career pathways into engineering and technology, take a look at the ‘All routes into engineering’ guide from Neon.

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