On World Youth Skills Day (July 15, 2024), Nationwide Platforms is plugging the skills gap with more places on its Engineering Apprenticeship, which is open for applications until July 31.

World Youth Skills Day celebrates the importance of teaching young people important skills that can help them secure employment.

The engineering apprenticeship has been a yearly fixture at Nationwide Platforms for over 30 years, with several graduates going on to become employees in the company itself.

This three-year long apprenticeship is a ‘Land Technician’ course, which teaches pupils the crucial elements of engineering across a range of machines.

“Our apprenticeship is tailored to the highest standards,” said Jo Hall, Resourcing Business Partner at Nationwide Platforms. “Throughout their journey with us, apprentices receive outstanding support and guidance from our engineering teams, our HR managers and our technical training managers. Their course is supplemented with enhanced technical training, which includes additional OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) training; our bespoke BlueSky technical course, which provides in-depth knowledge of the wiring and diagnostics of our award-winning MEWP (Mobile Elevating Work Platform) safety innovations; and our PHI (Post Hire Inspection) course, which details all the technical measures required to prepare a machine for hire.

“As a people focussed business, we pride ourselves on an excellent apprentice pay structure, as well as bonus payments awarded for achieving milestones in qualifications. We are also committed to guaranteeing roles within the business post-qualification, where further investment in the apprentice’s training will be offered.”

Nationwide Platforms’ apprenticeship course is structured as a ‘block-release’ programme: the applicants alternate every two months between residential stays at Beacham North College in Norfolk, and placement in a Nationwide Platforms depot.

“The residential component of the course is a key benefit,” added Hall. “It can be difficult to focus on something that’s done on an-hour-per-week basis. In contrast, the residential course steeps applicants in an engineering mindset and environment day in and day out. They can soak up the knowledge of their peers and mentors, and properly dedicate themselves to the course with all their attention. By alternating between campus residence and depot-placement, the apprentices can synergise their technical college training with on-the-job experience in a dynamic work environment.”

Designed to equip apprentices with a thorough knowledge of machine engineering, the apprenticeship encourages those with a “fix-it” approach to problem-solving to try their hand at electronics, hydraulics, and other areas on a variety of land-based machinery.

“The engineering principles underlying the land-based technician course are eminently transferable to powered access machinery,” said Hall. “While our programme teaches applicants a range of important engineering skills, a key benefit of the course is that it teaches young people how to be self-sufficient. We’re not just creating graduates for one industry; we’re teaching people to think like engineers and to solve technical problems the way engineers solve them.

“Ultimately, we’re preparing them for a lifetime of successful and happy employment.”

Applications for Nationwide Platforms’ Engineering Apprenticeship are open until July 31, 2024. To find out more please visit: https://www.nationwideplatforms.co.uk/en-gb/about-us/careers.