PA's high quality apprenticeships

For more than 25 years, Packaging Automation has been offering high quality engineering apprenticeships to young school leavers. These apprenticeships offer a genuine opportunity to recruits to gain a recognized engineering qualification with full time employment at the end.

Recent press coverage of apprenticeships has been mixed, and as a result of the rise in university tuition fees there has been a sudden increase in the number and variety of ‘apprenticeships’ on offer. However, concerns about the quality of some of these schemes have also been voiced.

Because PA’s scheme is employer driven and is designed to produce highly skilled individuals it combines formal training, further education on a day release basis and on-the-job training. It also requires a significant commitment from the recruits who will be expected to undertake the 4 year training plan. Each individual follows a personalised plan equipping them with a significant range of practical skills supported by NVQs at levels 2 & 3 and BTEC qualifications at Levels 3 & 4.

On completion they are then encouraged to continue with their higher education and study at degree level. PA has many individuals who have graduated and currently has a further 2 who are studying.

As an added bonus PA provides the opportunity for all trainees to participate in a 21-day outward bound course. During the course individuals undertake a range of outdoor activities such as multi-day expeditions, gorge scrambling, rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking and canoeing. This enables each individual to understand how to work with people they don’t know to achieve a common goal. They learn what it means to be an effective team member and the skills needed to lead a team. Through these outdoor challenges the apprentices learn about their own strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome them and how to support and encourage others in doing the same.

On completing the programme the apprentices return to work with greater self-confidence and a better understanding of themselves and their impact upon others which makes them more effective team members. Needless to say they are also much fitter.

PA is proud of its apprentice scheme which enables it to ‘grow’ its own talent and identify the individuals who will become the managers, machinery designers, systems engineers, sales engineers, and project engineers of the future.