ICC has just taken on its second new apprentice of 2017. Thomas Crowther and Josh Finn, who both joined us via QA Training, arrived in June and February respectively.

These two latest hires bring our total number of apprentices to four. Earlier recruits were Bradley Forth in 2015 and our first, Carl Trembath, in 2011.

Our apprenticeship scheme started because we realised we might face a shortage of young service engineers and decided to find and train our own. Working within a government apprenticeship scheme and partnering with a local training provider, we knew our candidates would need Grade A GCSEs in relevant subjects or two A-levels.

“The learning environment we provide is second to none,” says Michael Polkinghorne, our Operations Manager. “They learn all their basic skills in the workshop. Some of their formal academic training is completed off-site, and some of it takes place here at ICC when a trainer comes in to check the on-the-job training is proceeding according to a pre-agreed plan.

“We then teach them how to communicate with customers before sending them out on-site, initially with a senior engineer. This whole process takes about two years. Once they’re signed off they start manufacturer training and accreditation in line with our business and customer needs.”

Polkinghorne says, “All we’ve asked in return from our apprentices is that they be lively-minded, keen, dependable, have good communications skills and be happy to get stuck in – and I’m glad to say we’re delighted by how they’ve been turning out. Our apprentices are willing to learn and push their own boundaries. They know our industry needs continued training and that they’ll be expected to keep up with relevant accreditation’s. They know too that we’re busy and fast-moving, and that we want them to feel they belong to a growing and friendly company that will invest in their future.”

“Our apprentices really are part of the team,” Polkinghorne says. “They’re liked and appreciated by our clients and they are a credit to our company and to themselves.”