South West Water welcomed its latest two apprentices this week, the first to join from the new South Devon University Technical College (UTC) in Newton Abbot.
The UTC students shadowed their future line managers this week ahead of their September start dates as part of National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2018).
Archie Rattenbury, 17, has been offered the role of Level 3 Mechanical Electrical Craftsperson Apprentice and 18-year-old Charlie Ford the Level 4 Project Management Apprenticeship in Engineering.
Archie, who lives in Teignmouth, said: “I undertook my work experience with South West Water, where I got to visit one of the South West Water sites in Plymouth, which was part of my inspiration to apply. I’m naturally a practical person, so the idea of an apprenticeship appealed much more than a classroom-based course.
“I’m looking forward to today as it will provide a taste of what to expect in September.”
Charlie, from Newton Abbot, said: “Like Archie, I also undertook a week’s work experience at South West Water. An apprenticeship is a way to develop my interpersonal skills, which you otherwise wouldn’t achieve with a classroom-based qualification.
“I would encourage more young people to partake in an apprenticeship – you avoid student debt while developing skills to use throughout your career.”
Paul Lakeman, Complex Maintenance and Safety Manager, who will be welcoming Archie to his team, said: “Young people are our future. They offer a different viewpoint and natural ability which they bring to the workplace. Archie proved high calibre and we cannot wait to welcome him to the team.”
Charlie’s future line manager, Mahesh Mohankumar, said: “I am currently undertaking the Level 4 qualification myself as part of my own professional development, so I’m looking forward to guiding Charlie through the process and welcoming him to the team.
“We are visiting a future project site today, which will provide Charlie with the unique opportunity to be part of the full lifecycle of project managing a site development.”
Bob Taylor, South West Water’s Drinking Water Services Operations Director, who sits on the board of directors at South Devon UTC, said: “Pupils at the UTC have proven to be switched-on and equipped with the skills to succeed in the workplace. Our apprentices are an excellent way of ensuring we remain fit for the future.”
Archie and Charlie’s recruitment will make them the first South West Water employees to join the workforce from the South Devon UTC partnership, which is developing the companies next generation.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from 5 to 9 March 2018.