Businesses must go further and faster in embracing the benefits of apprenticeships.
That’s the view of the leader of an award-winning Midlands-based engineering firm – who began his own career as an apprentice.
Alan Lusty, the CEO of multidisciplinary engineering firm adi Group, said companies across the UK share a “collective responsibility” to improve access to apprenticeship schemes.
Speaking as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which is celebrated all of this week, Mr Lusty said: “Not enough businesses have recognised the sheer potential of apprenticeships in today’s engineering world, and just how much these can benefit their company, as well as make a positive impact on the industry. We want to motivate other businesses within the industry to take proactive measures to change the engineering sector for the better, and a crucial aspect of this transformation is recognising and championing the indispensable role of apprenticeships”.
Mr Lusty’s comments come as data shows apprenticeship starts in 2022/23 were down 3% compared to the previous year.
And with predictions that the labour demand gap in engineering will widen, Mr Lusty said businesses should look towards apprenticeships as a key element of the solution.
Having begun his own engineering career as an apprentice, Mr Lusty is determined to spearhead a change in mindset in businesses, educating others on the importance of apprenticeships.
Explaining how this can be done he continued: “It’s about helping budding engineers gain the hands-on core skills and knowledge they need to progress and succeed in an engineering career, in the right ways.
“adi’s apprenticeships are carefully designed to help outline a path of success for young talent within the industry and increase accessibility.
“We offer apprentices the opportunity to gain practical engineering skills in their chosen area from our own highly skilled in-house mentors while experiencing the intricacies of a real-world work environment.
“And we don’t just train apprentices on the engineering aspects of the job – we nurture all areas of their development, getting them involved in responsible business activities, training them up on health and safety and sustainability, and helping them build relevant soft skills.
“We further aid their growth through a dedicated mentorship scheme, designed to ensure every apprentice is personally supported in achieving their individual goals and aspirations.
“We ensure our approach is bespoke, taking into account the individual needs of each apprentice and valuing the skills they bring to the table, looking to help them grow these further in a tailored manner.
“While our approach has already inspired some like-minded businesses, we are striving to encourage others to follow in our footsteps, and not just this National Apprenticeship Week.
“We have a collective responsibility to protect the future of our industry, and we look forward to being able to show more and more businesses how they can make a positive impact”.
adi Group, which has a HQ based in Birmingham, is leading the way in developing the next generation of engineers with platforms and opportunities to encourage youngsters into the profession and educate others on the vital role of apprenticeships within the job market.
Having been recognised by The 5% Club as a Gold award winner, the firm has pledged to achieve 5% of its workforce in apprenticeship positions, a goal it has repeatedly exceeded in the past few years, having reached the 10% milestone in 2023.
In 2016, adi Group launched the UK’s first pre-apprenticeship programme, a unique programme which offers 12 students from years 10 and 11 the opportunity to develop their hands on engineering skills with purpose-built workshops over a two-year span.
adi Group offers a range of apprenticeship opportunities in areas such as mechanical, electrical and automotive engineering, as well as a number of business apprenticeships. These provide its pre-apprentices with a natural follow-up path as well as creating avenues for others coming in from outside the business.