An interview with SP Energy Networks on the benefits of taking on a Modern Apprentice

As an employer you may find yourself wondering what the benefits are of taking on a Modern Apprentice, or in fact recruiting a young person at all. Developing the Young Workforce – Ayrshire conducted an interview with District General Manager of SP Energy Networks, Graham Campbell, to find out what he finds so beneficial from recruiting Modern Apprentices. Here is what we found out…

As an employer what do you feel are the benefits of taking on a Modern Apprentice?

“Taking on a local person and having the ability to secure them a long term position and skills in our working District.”

What does a Modern Apprentice bring to your business?

“A fresh approach from someone who may or may not have had previous employment experience. A person who can engage with and mould to our business requirements building on our engineering requirements for the future.”

What made you want to take on a Modern Apprentice?

“To allow us to be a part of the community and give something back, for example local jobs for local people.”

Did you find it easy taking on a Modern Apprentice?

“Yes.”

Only as little as 13% of employers take on Modern Apprentices. What do you feel could be done to improve this figure in the future?

“Incentive schemes for employers to allow them to invest in the people they are training.”

Where did you find all the resources you needed for taking on a Modern Apprentice?

“We have a department in house who deal mainly with the recruitment and involve Districts in the decision making.”

Was there much cost involved in taking on a Modern Apprentice?

“Due to our business requirements the cost is high to train Apprentices. We have formalised training processes where high standards are required to be demonstrated to allow someone to work safely on our electrical network. As we are a regulated business we can offset some of the costs however other businesses should look to see if there are any incentives they can receive.”

Did you need any support when taking on a Modern Apprentice? If so, where did you get the support?

“No, we have support in house.”

What advice would you give to a young person who is considering applying for a Modern Apprenticeship?

“Go for it! It is a fantastic opportunity and the benefits are rewarding for you and for the rest of your career. It is a career for the rest of your life not just a job.”

And finally…

What advice would you give to other employers about taking on a Modern Apprentice?

“It’s a great way to take on an individual and teach them what you want and help them learn. Take the time to teach them the processes of your organisation, you will get out it what you put in.”

It is clear to see that there are many benefits to an employer, in this case SP Energy Networks, of taking on a Modern Apprentice. Modern Apprentices are therefore not a source of cheap labour but an investment in your business which can be a really rewarding one at that.

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