The University of Nottingham has launched an apprenticeship scheme, providing employment and training for 17 motivated school leavers from the East Midlands.
Under the guidance of a mentor, the apprentices will be working in a variety of roles from administration staff to designers and lab technicians, while undertaking work-based qualifications.
As a result all apprentices will work towards an NVQ at college alongside a programme of in-house training in areas such as time management, working with others and communication skills.
Making a significant contribution
Professor Sarah O’Hara, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, explained that the appointments will be of benefit to the University as well as the apprentices themselves.
She said: “Nottingham is not just an international university attracting students from around the world; we are also a major employer in the local area providing a vast range of exciting career opportunities.
“We are passionate about supporting young people in Nottinghamshire to achieve their full potential and delighted to be involved in an apprenticeship scheme that will enable them to acquire new skills and paid employment while adding to our talented workforce.”
The scheme is not the only workplace training offered by the University to local young people. In 2008 the Faculty of Engineering set up a four-year Trainee Technician programme, designed to equip young people with a broad range of engineering skills and techniques.
This year was a milestone for the Trainee Technician programme. Joseph Bellis and Keaton Kirkland-Bell were the first two trainees to sign up, four years ago - and this summer both successfully completed their training. They have now accepted jobs as skilled Engineering Technicians in the Faculty.
The new apprenticeship scheme saw 17 school and college leavers take up their posts in September 2012.
Professional Development Officer Claire Kempson said of the new apprenticeship scheme: “The University of Nottingham is committed to building strong links with the local community and recognises that a particular problem in Nottinghamshire is youth unemployment.
“The Programme was introduced to provide worthwhile jobs and excellent training for this group, making a significant contribution to the local area in this time of economic hardship.
But Claire is adamant that employing an apprentice is not a charitable activity: “Evidence suggests that apprentices are highly motivated, highly productive and because of the combination of in-house support and external training are able to quickly become productive and valuable members of staff.”
Getting professional experience
Adele Baron, 18, from Long Eaton has been employed as a Marketing and Communications Assistant after deciding to add professional experience to her CV following a BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma course in Art and Design at Derby Roundhouse College.
She explained: “I felt that I had got everything out of college that I could, but wasn’t ready to go to University. As there aren’t many jobs near home I saw the apprenticeship as a great opportunity to learn about a working environment.
“I can always study at University later, but this is giving me the chance to learn about working in a communications and marketing department whilst developing my photography skills — being a professional photographer is something I’d like to do full time in the future. If I was offered a full-time position at the end of my apprenticeship I would definitely take the offer.”
Lewis Stainer, 21 from Beeston, has been given a one year apprenticeship working as an Audio Visual Assistant. Like Adele he dreams of becoming a professional photographer and believes the experience he will gain at the University will be invaluable during his future career.
“There aren’t many photography apprenticeships going. Working with a professional photographer — capturing, editing and uploading images — in a corporate environment, is a brilliant opportunity. Hopefully, if I am good enough, it will result in a full-time position.”
For more information about apprenticeships, please visit: http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…