Working in partnership to support apprentices

Having been employed temporarily by a roofing company, Niomi had
some construction site experience and was seeking opportunities local
to where she lived in Moston, Greater Manchester.

Niomi explains:

I wanted to get out of labouring, and seized an opportunity for a paid
work trial. I realised that an apprenticeship with Galliford Try would be a great way to earn and develop my skills at the same time.

Delivering on a batch of four schools in Greater Manchester for the Department for Education, Galliford Try wanted to offer a direct apprenticeship opportunity to a local resident. They engaged with the Broughton Trust, an employment support charity in Salford, to offer three individuals a 3-day real living wage work trial.

Niomi shone out during the work trial. She was eager to learn and had a mature attitude.

Explains Joy Woods, Galliford Try Social Value Manager. Niomi was offered a Level 3 Multiskills apprenticeship role with Galliford Try, employed via
the Greater Manchester Apprenticeshare scheme.

Niomi was welcomed as one of the Castlebrook High School, Bury, team, and spent time working with the site engineers as well as with the scheme’s mechanical and electrical subcontractor, Ameon. After 2 months, Niomi expressed a keen interest in electrical work, and asked if Galliford Try could help
her transition from her multiskills apprenticeship into an electrical apprenticeship.

Joy Woods arranged for Niomi to work alongside Senior Contracts Manager, Dave Scott from Ameon during the delivery of a STEM education event. Dave
recalls:

Niomi asked my advice about entering an electrical apprenticeship, and I was impressed by her passion and determination. The site team gave glowing feedback, and I recommended that we offer Niomi an electrical apprenticeship.

Ameon actively supports apprenticeships, recognising the need to grow their business by developing skills and entry-level careers. Apprentices make up around 10-15% of Ameon’s direct workforce. They believe that shared apprenticeships are a great way to get to know a potential candidate.

We asked Niomi about her experience of the apprenticeship so far and her aspirations for the future.

NIOMI’S STORY

I was attracted to the electrical trade as it offers great progression opportunities, an attractive salary and it will always be a trade in demand. During my work trial, I spoke with electricians, learning about their career paths and what they liked about the trade. This was really useful; they offered some great experience and guidance.

WHAT QUALIFICATION ARE YOU WORKING TOWARDS?

Niomi is working towards a Level 3 NVQ in Electrical Installation at Trafford College, completing in 4 years. Her training consists of a blend of day-release
attendance at college and work based assessments for evidence. Niomi enjoys the course, explaining:

I like learning again, as I have been out of education for a while.

WHAT ON THE JOB TRAINING, GUIDANCE AND MENTORING ARE YOU RECEIVING?

I am trained on the job and able to get involved in a wide variety of different aspects of electrical work. This has helped me build my practical skills and knowledge.

On-site, Niomi is ‘buddied up’ with an Ameon colleague, who checks her work and provides support.

WHAT HAVE YOU EXPERIENCE HAVE YOU GAINED TO DATE?

The Ameon team first introduced Niomi to technical drawings, and explained how to measure and convert from a drawing:

At first I was assisting with containment in walls. Since my electrical apprenticeship started, I have moved on to wiring, with different types of cable, and measuring cable locations to the mains board. I have been learning how to connect circuits and strip cables in college.

HOW HAS THIS OPPORTUNITY BENEFITED YOU?

I have a career path now, and I know what I want to do. I feel really positive about work as I get to think and work independently. The whole experience has made me very proud, and keen to progress.

WHAT IS YOUR LONG TERM ASPIRATION?

I want to learn as much as I can, and become a fully qualified electrician once I complete my apprenticeship. I would love to make my career with Ameon and realise my full potential within the company.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE INTERESTED IN APPRENTICESHIPS?

If I met a young female thinking about entering the construction industry, I would say go for it. I have found everyone so supportive and positive. Modern companies like Galliford Try and Ameon are changing the culture and perceptions of construction. If we all give encouragement to females, then we can level the playing field.