From education to employment

Anglian Water Alliance students celebrate apprenticeship success

Adiko Asare

A group of students from Milton Keynes College (@MKCollege) are celebrating after becoming the first to be awarded Groundworker apprenticeship jobs with @AnglianWater’s Alliances.

The six students have become the first cohort to successfully complete the College’s full-time Level 2 Anglian Water Alliances Construction programme, a bespoke course designed as a long-term partnership between industry and education.

As part of the programme, which is delivered at the College’s Chaffron Way campus, students can try the career while studying and are guaranteed an apprentice interview with Anglian Water’s partner companies once they have completed their studies.

David Newsome, Collaborative Skills Programme Manager at Anglian Water Alliances, said,

“The course was developed as part of our commitment to investing in the communities we serve and providing opportunities for young people that they might not otherwise have had.”

He added, “This isn’t a normal college course. The first day of their college studies is the first day of their job interview with us, effectively, so it is a great way for us to bring talented and committed people into our organisation.

“As the programme sponsor, we and our partner companies provide work experience, specialist plant, materials, lecturing, mentorship, tablets if the students need them, and PPE.

“Everything we deliver is designed to help provide the skills and knowledge the students need to enable them to become work-ready apprentices and hit the ground running.”

The course provides practical skills, hands-on learning and real site experience, with students also having the opportunity to learn from experienced employees from Anglian Water and their Alliance partner companies.

David said, “The College are very flexible, they understand the demands from business, and they work very collaboratively. We’re looking forward to developing our relationship over the coming years and exploring what other opportunities there may be for us to work together across other parts of the business.”

Following the success of the Anglian Water Alliance programme, the College is expanding its construction apprenticeships provision and is appealing to more employers to take on Groundworker apprentices from September 2021.

Anna Clarke, Director of Employer Engagement at Milton Keynes College, said,

“Apprenticeships are a way to futureproof your workforce, particularly in sectors where there is a skills shortage, such as construction. We’re therefore encourage more local and regional employers to consider investing in apprenticeships as a way of attracting new people to join the industry, as well as improving the skills of their existing employees.”

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