From education to employment

Apprentices Making the Grade as LSC Continue to Support Vocational Training

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have been keen supporters of vocational apprenticeships and one teenager who has benefited from such a scheme is Ayaz Khan, from Burnley. The 19 year-old is currently working as a sheet metal welding engineer, having recently completed his apprenticeship.

The young engineer carried out his training at Turkington Engineering and is now working full-time for the company. Ayaz described how he started the training scheme, “I started at Turkington through an entry to employment programme. Because I was doing really well on it my employer suggested that I should progress on to an Apprenticeship.”

Making a Difference

“Apprenticeships can open a lot of doors,” he continued. “I chose Welding and Fabrication because I had tried lots of other jobs in the workshop and that was the thing that I was best at. I”ve learnt a lot. As well as the workshop skills, I”ve learnt about working with a team. I”ve also learnt a lot about how to communicate with other people.

“Doing an Apprenticeship has made a huge difference in my life,” he concluded. “I am sure that I would never have got this job without one. I”m not the kind of person to enjoy being at college full time, so this Apprenticeship was ideal for me as I got the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment. It has really helped me to gain communication skills that make me more employable too.”

Turkington Engineering

Turkington Engineering was also delighted with the progress that the apprentice made. Gary Morley of Turkington explained: “There is definitely a skills shortage in the area, and Apprenticeships are the ideal way to fill that gap. It can be hard to find the right calibre of skilled electricians and fabricators so we bring in new people and then train them up. At Turkington Engineering we have an on-going programme with Training 2000 in Blackburn and take on about three or four apprentices each year.

“Within the first couple of months of Ayaz joining us,” Mr. Morley went on, “he had used all the money that he had earned through the entry to employment scheme to buy tools. It demonstrated his commitment and enthusiasm for what he was doing. We asked him if he wanted to go on to an Apprenticeship, because we thought he would benefit. He really took to it and passed last year. He is now continuing to work for us as a regular employee. Ayaz is a real asset to the company.”

LSC Raising the Profile

The LSC have endeavoured to raise the profile and participation within industry, to encourage businesses to help fill the skills shortage in the practical trades. Executive Director of the LSC in Lancashire, Steve Palmer, felt that Ayaz’s success was a justification of the importance the LSC has placed upon vocational schemes and employer participation.

He said: “Ayaz is a great example of how an Apprenticeship can help you get on in life and get the career you want. It allows you to work full time in your chosen career and enables you to learn about the job while you are doing it. You also benefit from learning the theory behind your job whilst getting valuable qualifications. There is a vast range of Apprenticeships available to young people like Ayaz. Anyone interested in doing an Apprenticeship should ring the help line on 08000 150 600.”

Dan Atkinson

Read more about Apprenticeships right here at FE News!

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