Apprentices were brushing up on their softer skills this week with an apprenticeship challenge that saw them testing their powers of communication, teamwork and networking.
Teams stepped up from Redcar & Cleveland College, NETA Training, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Beyond Housing, to go head-to-head in a day of sports and games in Redcar.
Redcar & Cleveland College’s Business Development Co-ordinator, Becky Williams, said: “The idea was to bring apprentices from across the area together in a fun event for National Apprenticeship Week.”
With a line-up of five-a-side, dodgeball and archery challenges, she said: “It was all about participation, team building and networking.”
Around 24 apprentices took part in the event at the Redcar & Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart.
Mini spot prizes were given out during the day for the likes of best team player and best leader.
Representing Redcar & Cleveland College, Connor, 19, is a business administration apprentice in a doctor’s surgery. He said: “It has been good to meet the other apprentices and get involved. I think this is the most I have moved since leaving school!”
Having completed his Level 2 apprenticeship and now moving on to a Level 3, he explained: “I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to earn while you learn. I like it.”
Also progressing from his Level 2 to his Level 3 apprenticeship is Beyond Housing’s business administration apprentice Lewis. At 25 he said: “I chose an apprenticeship because I was ready to start a career. I had previously bounced around from job to job and I decided I needed a career.”
Happy to secure a place at Beyond Housing, he said: “It is a company that is well established in the area, I thought it would be great to get a foot in the door.”
Now, he said: “I love it. I am really pleased that they have chosen to keep me on.”
Enjoying the apprenticeship sporting challenge, he said: “It is a great way to meet other apprentices and get an idea of what they do. It helps to build your confidence and things like teamwork; it all ties in with work.”
There to support Lewis and his team of fellow apprentices, was Emma Tooth, Apprenticeship Co-ordinator at Beyond Housing. She said: “We wanted to be involved today as it is good to be able to offer as many opportunities for young people as we can in the area.
“For the apprentices today is about networking, meeting new people, building confidence and it also promotes healthy living and lifestyles.”
Talking about the benefits of apprenticeships, Emma said: “We take great pride in showcasing our apprentices, developing and upskilling them to be fantastic ambassadors.
“It is so important to get home grown talent for the future of the company.”
Representing NETA Training, mechanical engineering apprentice David, 17, said he couldn’t believe it when he secured his position with PD Ports.
Currently being introduced to the basic skills of his trade at NETA, he said: “I liked the idea of an apprenticeship as I felt I was ready to get started.”
Developing a wide range of new skills, David said: “You definitely need social skills because you are never going to get anywhere if you can’t speak to people. There is a lot of that in today’s event, as well as teambuilding and working in a group.”
Reece, 19, has just completed his apprenticeship with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and has just secured a full-time job.
He said: “I think you learn so much beings hands-on and picking up the skills as you go along. Doing the job and learning as you go is better for me than sitting in a classroom.”
To find out more about apprenticeships at Redcar & Cleveland College visit: www.cleveland.ac.uk/apprenticeships/
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