This year, NG Bailey’s apprenticeship places will increase by approximately 200 percent as the UK’s engineering, IT, and facilities services company strives to meet the demand for opportunities and fulfil its commitment to the nation’s skilled workforce.
NG Bailey recently opened its 2015 apprenticeship window, and reports that over 1,800 applications for roles ranging from electrical engineering to quantity surveying have already been received in the first few weeks.
Apprentices now account for more than 5% of NG Bailey’s total workforce, and over 5,500 people have participated in the highly regarded scheme since its inception in 1934. These include high school and college graduates, as well as those seeking a career change. Even after 81 years, the company’s commitment to skill development remains strong, as it continues to develop some of the industry’s best young talent.
The scheme’s success continues to bear fruit, with a number of the company’s directors and senior managers beginning their careers as apprentices with NG Bailey.
“We are incredibly proud of our apprenticeship programme and its strong reputation in the industry,” says Frank Clayton, head of group learning and development at NG Bailey. This is one of our largest intakes in history, and we can see more than ever from the number of applications how much interest there is in apprenticeships as a starting point for a great career.”
“We’ve noticed a shift in the way young people are approaching their careers, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers can provide excellent job security, with technical apprenticeships providing a solid foundation in the industry.” We’ve always felt that this is a two-way street: apprentices play an important role in our company, and we benefit from working with them.”
There are vacancies throughout the company, including electrical, heating and ventilation, and plumbing, as well as newer schemes in quantity surveying and higher apprenticeships in procurement. NG Bailey invests more than £3 million per year in four-year apprenticeships as well as employee training and development.
The company has recently launched a number of initiatives aimed at increasing the popularity of science-based subjects, increasing the number of apprenticeships, and attracting more women to the construction industry.
Over the last five years, the number of female apprentices completing programmes in both construction trades and engineering has exceeded the national average.
“We are proud to say that we have remained committed to our apprenticeship programme, even during the recent difficult climate,” said David Hurcomb, chief executive of NG Bailey. We recognise the importance of providing young people with the opportunity to earn while they learn because it benefits not only our business but also the overall growth and skills in our industries.”
“If we’re going to address our skills shortages, we need to help young people get excited about STEM subjects as a country.” This must take place in schools as well as through apprenticeship programmes.”
As part of its commitment to engaging young people, the company has created a new school programme called Inspire. Despite its youth, it has already engaged with over 500 young people in Leeds and Manchester, assisting them in getting involved in projects that demonstrate the breadth of career opportunities available in construction.
NG Bailey hopes that by rolling out the initiative to 12 schools across the country over the next four years, it will encourage participants to pursue construction options at college or university, or to apply for an apprenticeship.