Since they joined ABB in 2012, the eight apprentices have combined rigorous classroom learning and guided study at Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) with engineering work experience that developed technical skills in areas such as design engineering, construction and project working. They have also developed their management and leadership skills through involvement in high profile events, such as representing ABB at a reception at the House of Commons.
The graduation event was held on Wednesday 19th October at NULC’s state-of-the-art campus before an audience including the Mayor and Consort of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Councillor Ian Wilkes and Anne Wilkes, Mayor and Consort of Stone, Councillor Jim Davies and Lin Davies, the apprentices’ families, Principal and Chief Executive at NULC, Karen Dobson, NULC teaching staff, the apprentices’ line managers from ABB and members of ABB’s senior management team.
The head of ABB’s grid integration business unit in Stone, Jon Downs, said: “Achieving their qualifications in Engineering demonstrates that the eight former apprentices are ready to take the next steps in their career paths with ABB. An apprenticeship is an excellent way to start a career as it gives a firm foundation for success in the world of work. Many members of ABB’s senior team started out as apprentices – so for those graduating today, the world is their oyster.”
Apprenticeships offer a structured path into a career in engineering, as well as being an alternative to academic study. Some of the newly qualified young professionals from ABB have already progressed onto higher level engineering study and are currently undertaking HNC/HND studies in Electrical Engineering, eventually leading to a degree while developing their professional experience and skills in the work place.
Principal and Chief Executive at NULC, Karen Dobson, said: “We were delighted to have hosted the ABB graduation event where we welcomed key stakeholders to the College to celebrate the success of this talented cohort of future engineers. Here at NULC we have a well-established and successful partnership with ABB and we have been their educational partner for their apprentice scheme since 2011. The achievements of the 'Class of 2016' apprentices are a shining example of why the Government have prioritised apprenticeships and why they will continue to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in England, reaching three million starts in 2020.”
In early 2016, ABB’s apprentice scheme achieved national recognition when it was accepted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as one of its approved schemes.