Leading multi-disciplinary Birmingham engineering firm, adi Group, shifted up a gear during National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (NAW2018), announcing they are doubling their apprentice intake from 7 places in 2017 to 14 places this year. This will bring their total current apprentice numbers up to 30 in 2018.
In the process, the Kings Norton based business, which has a Formula 1 ethos and culture and currently employing 600 staff, will go above and beyond a commitment they made in March 2016, as part of The 5% Club, to raise the number of apprentices on formal programmes to 5% of their total staff within 5 years.
The 5% Club was founded in 2013 so that employers large and small, in every industry, would increase their ‘earn and learn’ training opportunities, raising people’s employable skills to ensure the UK has a society and economy which lifts its citizens out of poverty. And taking on 14 new apprentices will see adi reach their 5% target in just two years rather than five.
adi Group’s Apprentice Academy offers a fabulous 3-4 year programme, providing apprentices with hands-on experience in a first-class engineering environment to enable them to achieve an NVQ Level 3 Advanced Diploma and subsequently pursue rewarding engineering careers.
Nyron Howell, who joined the adi Healy Compressors arm as an apprentice in 2015 and who has since worked on successful projects for high-profile business including, Cadbury World, Blackpool Central Pier, Walkers Crisps, KP Snacks and Müller, said “Because I chose an apprenticeship, I was able to do a job I always wanted, a job that offers different challenges every day and keeps me thinking. When you do an apprenticeship, your co-workers are always willing to help you when you are stuck, no matter how big or small the job is and no matter what time. Everyone understands that you’re still learning, so the support is always there.”
It’s not simply about hard engineering skills for adi. The business develops additional soft skills, such as presentation, communication and confidence, in its apprentices by running a range of outbound teambuilding activities and engaging with schools and the wider community.
As NAW 2018 was celebrated across the UK, an open apprentice event was held for school-leavers and their parents at the firm’s Head Office in Kings Norton on 6th March with adi’s apprentices in attendance to talk about their experience and journeys with adi.
Their brief was simple – to inspire the next generation about engineering, a high-earning profession about which many kids and, indeed, parents are in the dark.
Just last month, apprentices hit Thinktank at Birmingham Science Museum to talk to kids from a purpose-built stall which generated a wave of positive Facebook feedback from youngsters and parents whose eyes had been opened.
adi Group has a self-delivering model, bringing together over 30 specialist engineering disciplines to deliver quality solutions for some of the most successful companies in the world, including BAE Systems, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.
Such is the breadth of the services delivered by the firm, the 8 apprentices due to graduate this year alone will be faced with an incredible set of specialism choices at the Kings Norton HQ as they contemplate which avenue to pursue as a career for the long-term.
The firm, which in February was recognised with a 1* accreditation by The Sunday Times’ Best Company workplace engagement accreditation programme and was also rated in the top 5% of companies in over 110 countries assessed by Ecovadis for their corporate social responsibility credentials, aims to offer full-time jobs to 90% of those who graduate from their Apprentice Academy.
adi’s CEO Alan Lusty explained how valuable he believes the Apprentice Academy’s work to be for employers, the economy and society at large. “As well as generating jobs for the local community, apprenticeships also give the next generation skills employers need. And, with a fresh view of our business and the world of work, apprentices often bring new and exciting ideas to the table.
Employers can tailor their apprentices’ skills to meet their particular business needs. That’s really important, when you consider the skills shortages we face in this country. Our programme has nurtured apprentices so well that we’ve been able to offer 90% of them permanent positions with the company to date. It’s an incredibly worthwhile endeavour for us, on so many levels.”