Apprenticeships are thriving at Southern Water as the company trains up its staff for the future.
Fifteen Mechanical-Electrical, Instrumentation Control and Automation (MEICA) apprentices who have been hard at work, combining academic studies with workplace training, have now become fully-fledged team members by the end of the year.
Among them is 24-year-old Tom Hayward from Brighton, who has been training with Southern Water for three years. Tom is proof of the success of the scheme as he has taken up a permanent position as an Instrumentation Electrical Technician with the company after gaining National Vocational Qualifications to Level 3 and successfully completing a Modern Advanced Apprenticeship.
Also taking part was Scott White, 24, who lives in Worthing who has been with Southern Water for three years, Scott has now qualified as a Mechanical Technician.
He said: “Southern Water has offered me this amazing opportunity and everyone has been very supportive. I believe that getting skills and learning a trade is more important that just getting a piece of paper to say you’ve done exams.”
The apprenticeship scheme provides a challenging but rewarding route into the industry with a three-year programme.
As well as on-the-job training, apprentices also gain recognised qualifications including NVQs and BTEC Diplomas.
The apprentices from each county are also assigned a mentor to provide support and advice.
Southern Water’s Apprentice Coordinator Derek Waddell said: “The apprentices programme provides us with ready-trained technicians able to maintain both the water and wastewater sites across the region.
“Last December, 15 of our 44 new apprentices moved from working as a supervised apprentice to working on their own as fully-fledged team members. There are another 18 Technical apprentices due to complete their apprenticeship and qualify in 2013. This is great news for their personal development and great news for the company’s future.”