MGF are tackling the shortage of skilled workers by encouraging and sponsoring apprenticeships across different areas of the company. MGF hopes to encourage more to take up apprenticeships with some words from current and previous apprentices.
Engineering Manager, Lee Womersley completed his apprenticeship in 2015 and has since taken note of the way apprenticeships have evolved into the well aligned programmes of today. When speaking about MGF’s engineering apprenticeship scheme, Lee said:
“In my experience, the apprenticeship route encompasses the highest level of education whilst incorporating direct work experience. Therefore, working and learning in parallel to gain maximum knowledge and experience.
“The skillset I developed throughout my apprenticeship with MGF have been instrumental in my journey to becoming a Chartered Civil Engineer and Senior Manager at MGF.
“The improvements in part time study are clear to see. The programmes are now aligned with the requirements of the Institution of Civil Engineers as a Professional Engineer or Technician. The skills developed during the integrated apprenticeships enable you to prepare for professional review following completion of the programme, where historically this was considered separate due to the lack of industry experience.
“For MGF, apprenticeships are aligned with some of the core values of the company. They provide the opportunity for talented young people to be trained direct from industry experts, creating sustainable career paths and a constant feed of new talent for our business.
“Since 2020, our engineering department have been building close relationships with two local high schools. This September we are pleased to announce our first two Grass Route apprentices will join the business and commence their Civil Engineering journey. Following the recent success of Charlie Stockley, we are confident this approach will provide a solid foundation and open an exciting career path for the individual, as well as ensuring we maintain a quality pool of engineering talent to support future business growth.”
HR / L&D Assistant, Charlotte, has worked for MGF for over 3 years and is looking to progress further.
“The most enjoyable part for me has been the people I work with day to day are super helpful. Although my college work can be tough, it is nice to have so many people around me who are always willing to help (they have been through this qualification before so are the best people to get support from.)”
“For anyone thinking about an apprenticeship, you will gain practical experience whilst learning the theory side. It is useful getting to put what you are learning into action and helps you put what you are studying into context.”
Since starting her apprenticeship, HR / L&D Officer, Liz Baines has gained a Level 3 Diploma in Business and Administration and a Level 5 CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) HR Management Higher Level Apprenticeship.
After secondary school, Liz started to research different universities, but felt the route was not for her. She wanted to get her foot in the door and start working.
“I would say go for it!
Being an apprentice taught me valuable skills and knowledge and provided a foundation for my career. Undertaking an apprenticeship has allowed me to progress very quickly.
You never stop learning; I am still learning new things now! It’s also great that you are working towards gaining a professional qualification, getting the work experience relevant to your qualification, developing a career and on top of that: getting paid. So, it’s a win.”
Liz thrives working alongside great, knowledgeable people. She enjoys the varied days and different projects that allow her to apply the theory learnt in college to the practical elements of the job.
“My biggest challenge and achievement was graduating after completing the Level 5 CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) HR Management Higher Level Apprenticeship. I never thought I’d be the one to graduate but I did it. It wasn’t easy working full time and coming home each night after work writing assignments and working on projects on the weekends. I needed to compromise a lot of my free time for a couple of years to ensure my assignments and projects were up to the right standard and submitted on time. I knew I needed to put the work in to get what I wanted – it all seemed to be worth it!”
Charlie was the first Engineering Apprentice to graduate, and the first candidate in a new engineering initiative. In September 2022, the department will take on two school leavers as apprentices.
Charlie believes that the degree apprenticeship, rather than a traditional degree, was the correct path for him.
“The format of the Degree Apprenticeship, including the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) contribution, ensured the appropriate measures were in place for continuous development both from an academic and workplace perspective providing the foundations for early success in my career as an Engineer.”
The degree apprenticeship course takes place over 5 years compared to the traditional 3 or 4 years for a Civil Engineering Degree.
The next steps for Charlie will be to sit an Incorporated Engineer End Point Assessment, and then go onto explore the new opportunities that gaining a degree has opened for him whilst continuing his progression at MGF.
Fabricator and Welder, Kevin Crane has completed both his Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma whilst being an apprentice at MGF. He enjoys the confidence and trust that the qualification has granted him to create the highest level of quality and professional work.
“The apprenticeship route has worked very well for me, and I would definitely encourage others to consider an apprenticeship. And, I would be more than happy to train new apprentices or recruits for the company.
If you can find an apprenticeship you are interested in, and, find a company willing to provide you with a platform which to develop, go for it, it is a great environment in which to learn and develop.”
Durham Depot Foreman, Ger Hallahan, commented,
“Kevin has continually developed during his time at MGF, all of which has been spent whilst working towards obtaining his Level 2, and now his Level 3, apprenticeship. It has been enjoyable to see him develop into someone who now possesses a confidence that drives him to not only want to learn and develop himself more but also teach and help others.”
If you are interested in a career at MGF, please visit our careers page.