We looked at our roster of employees and examined when they might be retiring or leaving for other reasons. This was part of a program of succession planning that would ensure we had a sold pipeline of talent to ensure our business could go from strength to strength for many years to come.
At a time when we had 60 employees, we decided to take on ten apprentices. There were numerous practical challenges with this but they are all still with us and are all flourishing. One of our apprentices initially based at Sci-Tech Daresbury is now the supervisor of the powder processes department at our Runcorn site, for example.
We encourage people to get a degree as we are looking for them to form part of our long term succession plan, and that level of education does provide the grounding needed to be a leader at an innovative company such as ours,” says Kathryn.
One on one support is crucial. You need to listen to them if they’ve got any ideas or areas where they want to develop their skills. You also need to be open and honest with them about areas where they might need to improve - communication and trust are key. We give them all the tools they will need to succeed, and we want them to take responsibility for their own advancement. Ultimately, we treat our apprentices as we would any other member of staff and communicate that they are the leaders of tomorrow.
We want to get them involved with customers early on in their apprenticeship, and get them excited by seeing the end product of what they will be working on. Similarly, it’s great that they can begin their careers in such an impressive environment as Sci-Tech Daresbury. In addition to the brilliant energy here, perks such as the gym on site and reduced gym admission elsewhere are real bonuses for them.
We have a hybrid model, with most of the people on our apprentice scheme dividing their time between being on site and working at home. This isn’t specific to set days but a percentage of days over a month. Additionally, our manufacturing facility runs on a four day week - this is both for sustainability reasons and to give our workers more time to themselves