Blog10 February 2022

Andrews Sykes – building for a better future

With the world cautiously transitioning from pandemic to endemic, the year 2022 has brought a great deal of optimism for many. Because while it would be crass to disregard the lingering influence of Covid-19, an evident ambition to ‘build back better’ denotes a level of positivity that has understandably been absent for the past 24 months or so.

Monday marked the start of National Apprenticeship Week – an annual celebration that reminds us of the impact such schemes have on the individuals involved, their employers, and the wider economy.

What better time, then, for us to reflect on the benefits that apprenticeships have brought us as a business? Only last week, Andrews Sykes made another statement of intent when we pledged to recruit a further seven apprentices before the year is out.

That’s because we truly believe in apprenticeships as a mechanism for sourcing and nurturing talent, with this process proven to boost employee satisfaction and concurrently reduce staff turnover figures long-term.

But don’t just take our word for it!

Brad Timms joined Andrews Sykes as an apprentice more than three years ago and has been very vocal in his belief this has been integral to his career development.

Now on the verge of completing a Level 3 qualification and becoming a qualified Chartered Credit Manager, Brad has risen through the ranks here and currently holds the position of Senior Collections Controller following a promotion in 2021.

Reflecting on his journey to this point, Brad said: “I had worked in retail for just over three years and was looking for a career within finance. However, I knew this would be difficult without the relevant qualifications so decided to take on an apprenticeship which has allowed me to work my way up the ladder.

“My experience has been fantastic, and I have had ongoing support from my senior management along with continuous guidance from my personal mentor.”

When asked where he would currently be without the apprenticeship, Brad’s response was simple.

He said: “During my initial six-month probation my career goals were discussed and it was clear that this pathway was going to give me a massive advantage in the industry. Without the backing I have received and the qualifications that have come alongside that, I quite simply would not have had this opportunity!”

Brad’s story highlights the speed with which individuals can progress if they remain dedicated to achieving their targets, with his transformation from a relative novice to a trusted and valued member of the team paying testament to that.

We are also offering administrative and sales roles in Doncaster and Charlton respectively, as well as three separate engineering apprenticeships.

Traditionally speaking, our engineering programmes have always been extremely popular and we expect to receive a great deal of interest once again.

In late 2020, Chelsea Smith embarked on her quest to become a fully fledged engineer by enrolling on a Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Level 3 traineeship.

And in doing so, Chelsea became Andrews Sykes’ first ever female engineer. More than a year later and approximately halfway through the process, Chelsea is thriving and bullish about what lies ahead.

She explained: “I was studying at a specialist engineering school in Birmingham and it was their careers department that suggested I consider an engineering apprenticeship. Thankfully, I did that and it’s worked out very well so far!

“There’s a lot to take in, both at work and at the college where I’m studying, but I’m already certain I made the right decision in terms of taking the steps that I have.

“All being well, I will complete my apprenticeship in 2023 and I’m hopeful of continuing down the engineering route at Andrews Sykes thereafter!”

“I’m keen to make sure I maximise the chance I’ve been given and would like to think the experience and qualifications I’m gaining will stand me in good stead for the future.”

In the last few weeks, ‘future’ has been quite the buzzword among CEOs, economists, politicians and other prominent figures, with organisations and individuals universally acknowledging the importance of laying the right foundations.

The associated investment will take a variety of forms, no doubt, but the fact that apprenticeship take-up is considerably higher than pre-pandemic levels strongly indicates that most businesses grasp the importance of training and advancing their own people. We certainly do.

A 40% increase in the number of people starting apprenticeships in the first quarter of 2021/22 compared with the same period last year shows that – and we’re delighted play our part in fuelling this growth.

National Apprenticeship Week is our annual reminder of a classic win-win scenario benefitting both parties when the commitment is matched on each side, which is why our intake will reach record-breaking levels before the end of 2022.

If you’re interested in any of the roles mentioned within this article, please get in touch with us here.