Apprentices Are Key to Our Success

David Pick
Faithful+Gould’s long-standing support for early entry to the industry is broadened as part of Atkins’ new higher apprenticeship schemes.

Government and industry acknowledge the shortage of appropriately qualified young people to deliver the technically complex built environment challenges of the future. Professional services organisations therefore need to find ways to attract, train and retain the best talent. Traditional entry routes to the professions have been evolving in recent years, with high-level apprenticeship schemes becoming an alternative option to university. The importance of apprenticeships to the UK economy was reinforced by the 2012 government-sponsored Richard Review of Apprenticeships.

Traditional entry routes to the professions have been evolving in recent years, with high-level apprenticeship schemes becoming an alternative option to university.

The Richard Review highlighted the key role that the government, employers, schools and families all have in informing and guiding young people so that they understand what a high-quality apprenticeship offers. Escalating university fees and lack of comprehensive student funding contribute to the attractiveness of apprenticeships.

Faithful+Gould has traditionally offered a range of training opportunities, continuing to recruit school leavers alongside a larger graduate and post-graduate cohort. Proactive relationships with schools and local careers services have been at the heart of our success in attracting talented and motivated young people. Some of our trainees have been recruited after attending one of our schools taster days, where we provide a range of presentations and practical sessions to introduce young people to the industry and its wealth of opportunities.

Our non-graduate trainees typically progress extremely well, moving on to part-time degree courses while carrying out useful and relevant paid work in a supportive training environment. We further enhance our staff matrix with year-out students, work experience opportunities and traineeships in support roles.

Proactive relationships with schools and local careers services have been at the heart of our success in attracting talented and motivated young people.

In 2013, as part of the Atkins group, we launched a programme of higher apprenticeships in a variety of disciplines. These are the highest level of apprenticeships, designed for people who have attained very good educational standards and want an alternative to the university route to a professional career. Two levels are available at Faithful+Gould and Atkins in the UK: Advanced – Level 3 (equivalent to 2 A-levels) and Higher – Level 4 and above (equivalent to HNC/HND/degree).

Apprentices are paid, full-time, permanent members of our team. Training is carried out by accredited providers, with the curriculum forming part of the National Apprenticeship Service Framework and leading to an institutionally recognised qualification.

We support apprentices to reach their full potential, helping them to find the right career path and understand the steps needed to pursue it.

Like all our trainees, apprentices benefit from the support of a mentor as they progress through their studies and they keep track of their progress with our professional development and performance reviews. We support apprentices to reach their full potential, helping them to find the right career path and understand the steps needed to pursue it. This includes opportunities to explore our different disciplines, projects, teams and locations – the apprenticeship is just the start of the journey.

Our first group-wide intake of 75 higher apprentices recently came together at their London induction event. Atkins Chairman Allan Cook CBE, who began his own career as an apprentice electrician, addressed the new recruits and shared his enthusiasm for the apprenticeship route.

 

 

Our people are very much the key to our success. We find that a range of backgrounds and experiences build a diverse, robust and highly skilled workforce, ready to meet the future challenges of the industry and the demands of our succession planning.