Going back to work for Apprenticeship Week


BackToTheFloorChamber President Jean Mountain and Immediate Past President Liz Fothergill went back to the shop floor to help celebrate National Apprenticeship Week last month.
Jean visited Chamber member DIPT, in Derby, which has five apprentices from Chamber Training, working on apprenticeships in warehousing and distribution, retailing, business administration and social media for business. The firm has had apprentices previously, many of whom are still employed by the company. Established in 1973, DIPT comprises three companies, Protrade, Joinery Fit-Out Supplies and Metal Fabrication Supplies. It has its head office and distribution centre in Derby, along with five Protrade depots across the East Midlands, which supply power tools, hand tools, accessories and fixings, hire and repair to the professional trades. Jean met with 19-year-old Social Media Apprentice Maria Potter, who said: “I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship so far. I’ve been here for eight months, but have already undertaken a number of interesting projects to help boost awareness of the company.” Jean said: “I thoroughly enjoyed going back to the floor at DIPT. It is a wonderful company and an absolute ambassador for the apprenticeship programme. “Maria is a little gem and I was delighted that she was highly commended in the Apprentice of the Year category at our recent Enterprising Women Awards too.”
Liz visited Aesseal, Derby, also a Chamber member. Currently two-thirds of Aesseal’s 43 staff are apprentices. Over the past 11 years Aesseal has had 12 apprentices from Chamber Training, all bar one of whom are still employed in the company.
Also for National Apprenticeship Week, Chamber Training launched an apprenticeships pledge for companies keen to learn more about apprenticeships and would like a follow up visit. The pledge was on the Chamber’s apprenticeship website, where companies were encouraged to sign up and pledge to take on an apprentice within the next year. There was also a physical ‘pledge book’ that was taken to events. The objective of the week was to raise awareness of apprenticeships, both in terms of the benefits to the apprentices and to employers and the wider economy.