College of West Anglia senior management went ‘back to the floor’ and became apprentices for a day, undertaking a variety of tasks with four very different local employers; MEC A TEC, Bodero and Filby, Bespak and Dodd Group Ltd, in order to promote National Apprenticeship Week.
The team – headed by principal David Pomfret, Mark Reavell, director of partnerships and estates, Arlene Clark, director of curriculum and learning, and Richard Williamson, director of finance and information – took time out from their busy schedules to work alongside apprentices and experience first-hand the positive contribution they make in the workplace.
Mark Reavell went to help engineering apprentice Harry Claxton (20) from MEC A TEC, based in Wisbech, who specialise in bespoke mechanical handling equipment for the caning and packaging industry.
Harry, who is now undertaking his HNC in engineering said: “This was a good experience for me; it gave me an opportunity to show some of the skills I’ve acquired through my apprenticeship. Mark was really enthusiastic and got stuck in with helping me on the press break machine folding sheet metal.”
Mark added: “It has been an excellent learning experience for me to see what some of our apprentices do as part of their full-time employment and the high level of skills that they are developing on a day to day basis.”
“The college is proud to support local businesses in developing apprenticeships. I would especially like to thank Ian Claxton at MEC A TEC for showing me around and Harry for taking the time to show me how some of the new equipment works.”
MEC A TEC director Ian Claxton commented: “We take on apprentices because we like to train them from scratch and believe you then get the best out of them that way. We currently have four apprentices from the college and I can genuinely say they are some of the best apprentices we have ever had!
“Our apprentices contribute massively to the company and are critical to the future success of the business. We aim to train all our apprentices to the highest standard and most are offered a contract upon completion, helping to maintain our excellent reputation and quality standards.”
David Pomfret went to Dodd Group Ltd, in King’s Lynn, with Adam Footer (16), an electrotechnical apprentice. Arlene Clark helped out at local hair salon Bodero and Filby.
And apprentices Katy Kidd (18) and Lindsay Rouse (35) were put through their paces when Richard Williamson visited Bespak to gain experience of what a “Warehousing and Storage Apprentice” undertakes as part of their training programme.