"These are young people at a vital stage in their lives who potentially will be the ones helping to engineer a bright future for us all."
Enthusiastic apprentices at major West Midlands engineering firm adi Group swapped the workshop for woodlands at a special away camp in Sutton Coldfield this week.
And, with the opportunity to further bond as a team and learn some vital life skills, the 19 electrical and mechanical engineering apprentices were eager to step out of their comfort zones for the two-day event at NPF Adventure Park in Bassetts Pole.
The apprentices had to work together to bring back an “injured” team member, build a shelter and assemble a bridge – all essential parts of the teamworking ethos which runs through adi Group, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm based in Kings Norton, Birmingham.
Lessons in flat-pack furniture assembly, reconstructing paintball guns and water filtration further tested the apprentices’ mettle and their engineering skills.
Birmingham based Josh Brown, a 17-year-old electrical engineering apprentice, said it had been a good opportunity to meet apprentices from other locations within the group, who they would not normally work alongside.
“It’s been fun learning new skills together and getting to know everyone outside of our central engineering workshops,” he said.
“Everyone pitched in and helped each other complete the tasks, even if some competitiveness kicked in between teams!”
The adi Group has long sought to address the skills gap affecting the UK engineering industry, with dedicated pre-apprentice and apprentice schemes aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers.
As a component of the firm’s full-time apprentice initiative, this first away camp aims to challenge the young engineers to solve unique problems and understand further the company’s ‘right first time’ culture.
Last year, around 60% of adi’s apprenticeship intake came from its groundbreaking pre-apprenticeship scheme, the first of its kind in the country.
With guidance from expert adi mentors, the 14 to 16-year-old pre-apprentices gather hands-on experience of engineering in a real working environment, with work uniforms that allow the youngsters to blend in with adi’s other employees, and professional, clean workshops.
Commenting on the importance of skills development and the away camp, adi Group strategic account director James Sopwith said: “It’s imperative that we not only take our apprentices out of their normal working environment, but also invest in skills development that will make them more altogether rounded individuals.
“These are young people at a vital stage in their lives who potentially will be the ones helping to engineer a bright future for us all.
“We’re really proud of both our pre-apprenticeship and apprentice schemes, which have already paid dividends in terms of strengthening and diversifying our full-time workforce.
“These past two days we’ve seen some really encouraging signs, both from a drive, passion and skills point of view, but also with one eye on our teamwork and problem-solving culture, which is so vitally important to our success.”
The adi Group is one of the fastest-growing engineering service providers in the UK, with a multi-disciplined focus that enables them to self-deliver solutions across 30 different engineering divisions. For more information, visit https://www.adiltd.co.uk