Celebrating Apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Week has been running for 15 years now and, in 2022, it falls between the 7th and 13th February. It’s a chance for employers to celebrate the new talent that they’ve been able to bring in through the apprenticeship route, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight a couple of success stories of our own.

One who recently completed his apprenticeship is Will Hopton-Osborne, whom we appointed as a full-time laboratory technician towards the end of 2021. His apprenticeship was supported by local higher education institution, Loughborough College, and through his studies he achieved a BTEC Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate. His role now involves working in the PermaRock laboratory and assisting with product development, quality control and compliance/certification.

“The apprenticeship was excellent,” notes Will. “Working and learning side-by-side was very effective and, for me, a really good combination. You might be learning something one week and putting it into practice the next. I found that a lot more helpful than just doing the qualification alone. It’s been enjoyable, too. The work is varied and interesting, and there’s always plenty to do. It’s given me a strong foothold, in the industry and in the company.”

Another who has benefited from the apprenticeship path is Aaron Patel, who joined us as an apprentice business administrator in September. His course – also a BTEC Level 3 with Loughborough College – will last 18 months.

“The apprenticeship is going very well,” he says. “I’m learning a lot and gaining good practical experience. For example, I frequently use Sage software, which is popular in all kinds of organisations, so being able to work with it is obviously a very useful skill to have.

“The role itself includes plenty of contact with customers, which I enjoy. I’m also about to start a new project as part of my course, which focuses on shipping. I often deal with couriers, sending out materials to sites across the UK, so my project will look at more efficient, cost-effective ways of working with them. It’s something that should be helpful for me and for the company as a whole.”

Sean Waldrum, PermaRock Managing Director, said: "We recognise that there is a lot of ambition and talent within school leavers, which can bring enormous benefits, both to the business and to the apprentices themselves. They learn first-hand from experienced colleagues and get the best of both worlds; from learning on-the-job and in the classroom.

“We remain committed to apprenticeships and will always welcome applications from suitable candidates who want to take their first steps into a rewarding career. We look forward to helping them on that journey."

PermaRock Products is an equal opportunities employer and recognises the great importance of diversity and inclusivity within its workforce.

More details of National Apprenticeship Week can be found on the government’s Apprenticeship website.