Hertfordshire-based coding and feeding systems designer Rotech recently announced plans to recruit three new apprentices.
The company will take the apprentices on over the next 12 months as part of its commitment to bridging the engineering skills gap and is planning to offer two engineering and one administrative apprenticeship.
In November, Rotech welcomed ten year 11 students from Marlborough Science Academy in St Albans to unveil the plans and gauge the interest of upcoming school leavers. Following the event, the company received several applications from eager pupils and are arranging workplace visits for the pupils and their parents, rather than formal interviews.
“By engaging the parents we hope to further dispel the myth that apprenticeships are a secondary choice to university,” explained Chris Baker, managing director at Rotech.
“If they are all still interested, we will offer a full day’s work placement to see how well each candidate fits into our business.”
Chris highlighted that the apprentices’ final career choice will not be limited to a specific pathway. He said, “Over 36 months, each apprentice will be exposed to all of Rotech’s business, including manufacturing and assembly, design, sales support, admin, marketing and sales. The bias of time spent in each area will reflect both each student’s ability and interest.”
The programme is currently being developed at Level 3 and involves one day of study a week to attain a professionally recognised engineering or business qualification at a local college, which will be funded by Rotech.
Chris continued, “Quality apprenticeships are regarded as an excellent route into the workplace and a credible way for young people to reach their desired career goals, especially in hand-on industries like ours. The practical on-the-job experience can give them an upper hand over staying on in full-time education, and provide wider industry exposure. We are also equipping them with skills for life. And working within a relatively small organisation means apprentices also get to see projects and processes through from start to finish.”
Chris added, ““British designed and built packaging machinery is becoming rarer. To survive, business need to attract and retain talented engineers, plus continue investing in the latest technology. At Rotech, we are proactively trying to balance all of these external influences, working with schools, the community, and investing in technology, for example 3D software.
“Appointing three apprentices underpins that like many British SMEs, Rotech is gearing up to emerge stronger and compete in the post-Brexit world.”