New apprentice scheme shows benefits for SES

College block release is a key element of the revamped apprentice scheme of SES launched last September.
Less than six months after SES launched its revamped apprentice scheme to 28 budding engineers, the benefits are being seen at sites across the country. Alongside the emergence of some very talented young plumbers, electricians and heating/ventilation engineers, Plumbing apprentice Gemma Martland has been nominated for the ‘Learner of the year award’ from National Vocational Learning Programme awarding body AET. She is based at the landmark 32-storey Bridgewater Place development in Leeds. These apprentices attend block release at college, where they are taught in a discrete group with their SES colleagues. Heating apprentice Mark Jones, who is based at a site in Speke, comments, ‘The block teaching means I’m learning more than if it were just day release. Because we attend college with all the other SES apprentices that are working towards the same NVQ, we have each other to lean on.’ Christine Wright, training manager for SES, says, ‘The new apprentice scheme is working really well for all involved. The apprentices are gaining valuable, paid experience, and the management of the scheme has been simplified dramatically thanks to the use of two dedicated colleges — Leeds College of Building and Huddersfield Technical College.’

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