World leading lifting equipment specialists, Konecranes, is once again showing its support for apprenticeship provision here in the UK having appointed six new electrical engineering apprentices this year within its crane service operation. Such is Konecranes commitment to the programme that the company is pledging to double its apprentice intake in 2016.
Bringing the total to 33 apprentices currently enrolled onto the initial three to four year scheme (19 in crane service, five in administration and nine in production), the 2015-2016 newcomers will be based around the country at Konecranes regional branches in Rochester, Andover, Bristol, Warrington, Sheffield and Gateshead.
Selected from some 150 plus applicants, each apprentice will attend college for off-the-job training, the aim being to achieve NVQ Level 2 PEO (Performance Engineering Operations). At the end of year one, the apprentices will also benefit from a further six weeks intensive training as a group, delivered onsite at Konecranes state-of-the-art training centre located at its UK headquarters in Castle Donington, Leicestershire. Here the focus will be crane specific and health and safety. Subsequent training will then be in accordance with the company’s ongoing programme. On completion of training, apprentices will be qualified as Service Technicians, with a BTEC Higher National Certificate in electrical and electronic engineering.
Commenting on behalf of Konecranes, Pat Campbell, Director of Market Area – Europe West said: “Apprenticeships are not only a great way for an individual to gain a recognised qualification, but to develop professional skills for real career progression. We have both senior managers and directors in our business who have undergone the apprenticeship programme in the past, so the scope for continued development not just here in the UK, but on a global basis, is a very realistic proposition.”
A long-term advocate of leading industry players investing in a combination of theoretical classroom and practical on-the-job training, Konecranes holds the enviable record of having a 100% track record in ensuring that service apprentices upon completion of their training go into a full-time job position. This philosophy has always existed within the Konecranes group and is something that HR Director – Region Europe West, Karen Winfield is very protective of. As she injects: “It is not just about giving our apprentices a job at the end of their training period, but putting them on a career path that can take them to the top of their profession.
“Our apprentices not only benefit from access to outstanding learning opportunities, they are remunerated in the process for their efforts, whilst being eligible for a range of fringe benefits that an employer such as Konecranes is capable of offering. Should they then decide to progress to degree level, this delivers another significant advantage in that it is Konecranes who fund the process, so any form of student debt traditionally associated with a University degree is eliminated,” she added.
In recognition of the apprentices’ training and learning efforts, Konecranes recently held its annual Award Ceremony, this year involving the presentation of a new Memorial Award made in commemoration of Paul Coxon, a former apprentice of Konecranes himself. Bestowed on the apprentice that demonstrated both the personal qualities and attributes that Paul consistently exhibited during his 25 years service with Konecranes, the inaugural award went to fourth year apprentice, Alex Linford based in Gateshead. Also singled out was Apprentice Of The Year 2015, James Thackery of Sheffield. The ceremony was held following the culmination of the company’s annual apprentice team building event that was attended by 19 crane service apprentices and which took part over three days at Adventure Sports in Warwick and Whilton Mill Kart Circuit, Daventry.
As event organiser, Konecranes National Training Manager, Martin Wadeson said: “This year’s team building event was hugely successful and thoroughly enjoyed by all concerned. It remains a great way to build rapport between all of the apprentices and get everyone pulling in the same direction.”