The class of 2015
Twelve apprentices including two from Ethos Energy Services begin their career in engineering at RWG’s dedicated training centre in Dyce, Aberdeen.
With record numbers of students applying to Clearing and almost 50% going on to university, once again there are warnings of a skills mismatch in key sectors of the UK economy and heated debates about academic versus vocational qualifications.
At RWG we are very clear about the importance of vocational qualifications. For the last 25 years we’ve been investing in training of engineering apprentices as an essential means of developing and retaining the core skills required by our business.
“In the early years we relied on external providers for training, however in 2007 RWG opened a dedicated training school to address the specific skill sets required to maintain high speed rotating equipment” stated Danny Dean, RWG’s Apprentice Training Officer. “Industrial gas turbines are highly engineered machines, so we train our people to be versatile, able to perform multiple tasks including the use of precision measuring equipment, specialised tooling and to maintain complex air, fuel, hydraulic and electrical systems”.
Colin McIver, RWG’s HR & Training Director commented, “Since 1990 we’ve trained 162 apprentices, with a total of 96 qualifying through RWG’s dedicated training school. RWG’s training programme is accredited by the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies (SEMTA) as well as the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) and leading industry training bodies such as the Excellence, Achievement & Learning Limited (EAL). Working in partnership with these agencies ensures a high quality of outcome for our business and valuable qualifications for our apprentices”.
A further benefit of RWG’s dedicated apprenticeship programme is employee retention. Right from the start apprentices are introduced to the strong safety culture within RWG and the importance placed on risk assessment and safe working practices. This commitment to employee welfare, combined with career development opportunities has enabled the business to retain over 83% of apprentices, with several progressing to management positions within the company.
In August of this year a further 12 apprentices began their career in engineering at RWG’s dedicated training facility, including two from Ethos Energy Services (a Wood Group joint venture company). Apprentices are recruited to fill vacancies across the business including engine projects and RWG’s specialised component repair business. In addition RWG has initiated a mature apprenticeship scheme, providing training opportunities for selected semi-skilled workshop employees to achieve fully skilled status.