Alan Lusty, Founder and CEO of £82 million turnover, multi-disciplinary engineering firm, adi Group, has a unique offer for UK businesses.
Having established the country’s first Pre-Apprenticeship Programme in 2016 and watched it flourish with each subsequent intake, Alan is convinced of its value not only in inspiring youngsters but in benefiting businesses, the wider community and the UK economy.
To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2018 5th- 9th of March, Alan is urging companies, both in the engineering sector and beyond, to replicate its success by making use of the proven adi concept – for free.
Students age 14-16 from North Bromsgrove High School, already involved with the scheme, spend half a day a week over two years learning core hands on skills and getting a taste of how rewarding and diverse an engineering career can be.
Alan sees his approach to apprenticeships in terms of completing his own cycle of life.
He didn’t take the academic route to engineering, a moment of teenage inspiration, watching a friend doing up their go-kart, led to an electrical apprenticeship that gave him the skills to fulfil his dreams.
Since founding adi Group in 1990 with the help of a £15,000 loan, he has grown a self-delivering 34 discipline model that now turns over £82 million and employs a team of 630.
For Alan, the important thing is to give something back to the apprenticeship ideal that got him started.
Recognising the skills deficit, adi created a bespoke hands on engineering curriculum which is fully accredited by EAL They want other SMEs to follow their example in helping to address a UK skills gap that Semta believes can only be filled by an additional 1.8 million trained engineers before 2025.
Alan said, “People and skills are central to what we do as a company. But they are also central to our whole sector and to the broader UK economy. So, we have a responsibility to society to ensure people are equipped with the skills they need to find quality employment and to deliver widespread prosperity.
"That starts with youngsters. Not everyone is cut out for university and not all of those thinking about career choices know how great engineering is. So, we try to inspire young minds and to open up new pathways into the profession.
"In our Pre-Apprenticeship Programme, we have proof of a wonderful concept that benefits us all – as individuals, as employers, as a community and as a country. We believe that, if other companies copy what we have created, we can help bring about a sea change, not just in the engineering sphere but in a number of key economic sectors.
"The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2018 is ‘Apprenticeships Work’. I can tell you, from personal experience, that they really do. So, I’d urge any businesses looking to make a difference to get in touch.”