This week is National Apprenticeship Week, a week that showcases and celebrates the best apprenticeships available across the UK. Here, past and present apprentices from ATG Access discuss their personal career journeys and how valuable apprenticeships can be for both trainees and employers.
One of the major dilemmas that young people face when leaving further education is deciding whether to go to university or to opt for another career route. Rebecca Rogers, an apprentice at ATG Access, who is currently undertaking a four year mechanical and electrical engineering course, knows this dilemma all too well. However, the practical learning element of an apprenticeship appealed to her the most and swayed her decision: “Completing an apprenticeship means that I don’t have to be stuck in a classroom, and instead, I get the chance to gain valuable hands-on experience. But, with so many companies now offering apprenticeships, it is important to find the right one. For me, ATG Access was the perfect fit because I have the opportunity to travel frequently, and I also have the chance to learn both the engineering and design sides of the business.
“Each day I am mentored by all of ATG Access’ amazing engineers, and I am learning so much because of their vast knowledge and experience. It means that each day, I am always finding out something new, which really excites me.”
Choosing to embark on an apprenticeship can be daunting for some young people, as choosing their next career step is undoubtedly a big decision. For those that may be undecided, Rebecca has some important advice: “Take every opportunity that comes your way, remain open-minded to your options and don’t get set in your ways. By that, I mean don’t be afraid of pursuing or considering alternative avenues, such as an apprenticeship, to get to your dream career. Apprenticeships allow you to learn on the job, and earn money while you’re studying.”
When an apprenticeship is complete, it doesn’t have to spell the end of the learning process, says Gary Romeling, project manager at ATG Access. Gary progressed through ATG Access’s apprenticeship scheme and is now completing his Master’s degree in project management.
Reflecting on his time as an apprentice, Gary said: “It was great being an apprentice at ATG Access – the level of support I received was second to none. All the staff, from the management down to the engineers, were never hesitant to take time out of their busy schedules to help. This dedication to helping me succeed meant that I learned a lot during the course and gained extremely valuable experience from some of the best in the industry.”
Glenn Cooper, CEO of ATG Access, is a firm advocate of apprenticeships as they open a wealth of opportunities for young people, while enabling employers to instill strong values in trainees at an early age. Glenn comments: “For us, apprenticeships mean that we can teach our trainees the importance of having the right attitude, focus and commitment from day one.
“From a training perspective, someone who goes through an apprenticeship scheme will gain the practical experience that is absolutely invaluable to an employer. But, it is up to us as employers to give young people the opportunities to get their foot on the career ladder and gain these necessary skills.”
ATG Access will continue to support apprenticeships to future proof the engineering skill set of the company and employees.