Carlin Aston, Chris Ormiston and Rebecca Rankin are the first among 46 apprentices recruited by South West Water since 2011 to be taken on permanently.
The milestone for South West Water marks National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March 2014) which celebrates the great prospects apprenticeships create for both employers and apprentices.
Chemistry Assistant Analyst Rebecca, aged 21, from Exmouth, started at South West Water’s Countess Wear Laboratory in Exeter in May 2012 and has since completed a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities at Weston College. She said: “I am now competent in three different methods of analysis at the company’s laboratories. It’s very interesting, varied work and I continue to learn more each day.
“An apprenticeship gives young people the perfect chance to start full-time work, learn job specific skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification. There is no guarantee of a job at the end but the training and experience could be enough to help you start the right career for you.”
All South West Water apprentices work alongside a nominated mentor whilst studying for a level three qualification from a training provider.
Distribution Technician Carlin, aged 23, from Pool near Camborne, started in September 2011 and is working in South West Water’s Drinking Water Services team in Cornwall. He completed several engineering qualifications at Cornwall College during his training.
He said: “When I first started it was a bit daunting but my colleagues have been such a great help. It’s a lot to learn but I thrive on it. I am responsible for attending jobs across western Cornwall and the areas are all different. Nobody else knows those water pipes like we do and how water is distributed in each area.”
Laboratory Sustomer Support Assistant Chris, aged 21, from Kingsteignton, joined in April 2012 and now holds a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration from Exeter College. He is based at Countess Wear Laboratory in Exeter. “Before I came to South West Water I was doing home deliveries and I was looking for a bigger challenge,” he said. “My role is to provide administrative support to my colleagues who test clean and waste water samples. This is a great opportunity to be involved with a bit of science – it’s not your standard administration role.”
Last year, South West Water recruited 23 new apprentices to work within its Drinking Water, Waste Water Services and Operation Support Services teams. The cohort included the company’s first two female apprentices within their field.
Nigel Fenn, South West Water’s Employee Development Manager, who is also Chairman of the South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, said: “We are delighted to welcome our first three permanent employees from our successful apprenticeship programme. We expect more to follow as they complete their training and join our talented workforce, dedicated to delivering high-quality essential services for customers.”
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