Hartlepool company Seymour Civil Engineering is echoing the Government’s message that apprenticeships are key to developing our future workforce.

The company has for a long time invested in young people, believing they can help drive forward the business.

Andrea Cartwright, Training Manager at Seymour Civil Engineering. believes that apprentices finish their qualification work ready and gain real, onthejob insight into their chosen field of study. 

And she says this is particularly relevant given the skills shortage in the construction sector across the country 

Seymour has recently taken on two apprentices and here we chat to them about their experiences so far. 

Nicole Gray, 16, came from Manor Academy, Hartlepool and has joined the company as Business Administration Apprentice studying a Level 2 Business Administration at Hartlepool College of Further Education 

She said: “I’ve been looking for an apprenticeship since the beginning of Year 11 because I was really interested in going down that route instead of going to college full time. 

“I’ve started in the accounts department and it’s been eye-opening to see the process in a business the size of Seymour. There’s a lot to it, a lot more than I expected. 

“The role involves rotations around the different departments so I get a taste of every area, how the areas all fit together and a chance to see what area I like the most and may want to work in specifically.  

In the second year I get the chance to decide where I want to stay. 

“I think this way of doing it is important because you get to understand the company and the different aspects of what each department does. 

The apprenticeship gives you the work experience whilst gaining the qualification. It gives you the chance to get stuck in to the proper world of working and develop your communications and people skills.”

The second young person is Callum Downing, 18, from Northfield School and Sports College in. Billingham. His role is as Heavy Vehicle Fitter and he is studying a Level 3 Heavy Vehicle Repair and Maintenance at Hartlepool College of Further Education  

He said: “I’ve always been interested in cars and mechanics and for the past two years I’ve been doing Motor Vehicle Level 1 and 2 at Stockton Riverside College.  

“I wanted to build on what I’d already learnt which is why I was interested in moving on to do the Level 3 through an apprenticeship. 

“The apprenticeship is giving me the experience of working in a garage environment whilst learning at college. “

On October 1 the Government announced a package of reforms to ensure the Apprenticeship Levy provides people with the skills they need to succeed. 

The changes are aimed at providing flexibility for businesses so they can take full advantage of the benefits of employing apprentices, and to help as many people as possible find the right training to equip them for the new economy. 

An extra £90 million of Government funding will enable employers to invest a quarter of their apprenticeship funds on people working for businesses in their supply chain – boosting the number able to benefit from high-quality apprenticeship training.

A further £5 million was announced for the Institute for Apprenticeships to introduce new standards and updating existing ones so that more courses can be offered – meaning more choice for those considering their training options.