Apprenticeships are a hot topic in Worcestershire at the moment. Sajid Javid MP has just announced that he is ploughing £17.5m into job growth and investment and the recent Skills Show pulled in an impressive 1,600 visitors.
So it's no surprise that our young people want to learn on the job, while at the same time getting paid.
To celebrate National Apprenticeship week one of our major educational providers, HOW College, sent two of its senior managers 'back to the floor', to West Midlands Safari Park where they became apprentices for the day.
Stuart Laverick, Principal and Nicki Williams, Vice Principal at Heart of Worcestershire College put on their overalls and safety boots to support the engineering team at the Park to carry out their routine daily safety checks on the rides.
Stuart Laverick, Principal at Heart of Worcestershire College commented; “Becoming an apprentice for the morning at West Midland Safari & Leisure Park was brilliant. It is clear to see that the Park is fully committed to supporting the growth and development of apprentices which is great to see. Apprentices at the Park have a diverse and interesting role and are supported throughout by a knowledgeable and experienced engineering team."
Stuart and Nicki shadowed two HoW College apprentices; Scott Wagstaff and Aureana Weeda who both had extremely positive comments about their apprenticeship at West Midland Safari & Leisure Park.
Scott said: “I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone. I started at College but moved to an apprenticeship as I wanted to get hands on experience on the job. It is bonus that you get paid for doing a job that you enjoy and gaining a qualification at the same time.”
Aureana said: "My role is different every day. One day we are working on the rides and then we are working in the Safari Park. You learn lots of skills such as welding, fabrication and mechanics. It’s so much fun”