Earlier this year, Westco launched a fully paid apprenticeship scheme for 16-21-year-olds. Under this initiative, Westco appointed two people to complete – what we hope will be -the first step towards a long and successful career in the industry.
With the scheme now fully up-and-running, Westco Operations Manager, Darren Mercer – who himself worked his way up within the business – is delighted with the progress made by our apprentices so far.
Providing an update on the Westco Academy, Darren said: “The apprentices spend a full three months in each of our departments, giving them the opportunity to find out more about our business and the type of career path they would like to pursue. So it was important that the people we appointed to the scheme were both ambitious and adaptable in equal measures.
“So far, our apprentices have settled in well and coped admirably with the variety of tasks that have been set for them. In fact, we currently have two important projects on the go, both of which are being headed up by our apprentices.
“Once these projects are completed the Westco Academy will have played a key role in making our business event better, and our apprentices will more than deserve all the accolades that will head their way!”
Ryan Young, one of the first to benefit from the Westco apprenticeship scheme is certainly flourishing in his role. He commented: “This is a wonderful opportunity for people who are unsure about what part of business they would like to build a career in as you get a taste of every department to see which one best matches your skill set.
“What’s more, by getting to grips with all the different roles, I’m starting to understand what it takes to run a business. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll start my own! I’d certainly like to carry on working at Westco once the scheme is complete.”
With a 15-month City & Guilds accredited business administration course forming part of the scheme, the Westco Academy not only provides on-the-job learning and training, but also a recognised qualification. In fact, pre-set learning outcomes have been established to ensure that the expertise our apprentices gain here at Westco is in line with their college qualification.
Once the initial 15-month course is complete, Darren will sit down with the apprentices to discuss ongoing evaluations to identify the most suitable career path in line with individual development and company need. If required, Westco will support more specialised training in partnership with Wigan & Leigh College, the Builders Merchants Federation, and other relevant training bodies.
Darren added: “We started the initiative wanting to help young adults with the skills they need to succeed, while at the same time instilling a good work ethic. So far, our apprentices have more than exceeded my expectations, and are always keen to learn new skills and gain further knowledge. I’m confident that with our continued commitment and hard work, we can help to build a pipeline of young talent that will benefit our business –and the wider industry – for years to come.”