10th Feb 2023
Abingdon & Witney College are proud to be an award-winning Ofsted rated outstanding provider of apprenticeship programmes, taking great pride in the service offered to both apprentices and employers.
The College works hard to ensure each employer gets the most out of their apprenticeships. Our specialist team are on hand to guide employers through every step of the process, all whilst making sure that our apprentices have all they need to thrive.
This Apprenticeship Week, we want you to hear about our service from the people who know it best; the brilliant employers we already work with. Earlier in the academic year, employers from the engineering apprenticeships were invited to visit the campus. They toured the high-quality teaching facilities and met the industry experts who support our apprentices when they're not at work. Shared below are three employer stories from those who visited.
Prototype Productions are a CNC engineering company based in Long Crendon who create top quality precision parts for surgical power tools. They considered hiring an apprentice after a management buyout when they began to expand their company. During their expansion, they bought three new machines and employed two more people including Jamie, who is four months into his apprenticeship.
"It's been great to see the facilities here, they're really quite impressive. It's a big workshop and there are more machines than I've seen before at a College. The facilities were a big part of what we looked for when we were picking an apprenticeship provider; we wanted somewhere with suitable facilities and somewhere that would underpin the knowledge; where the team really understood what our apprentice needed to learn."
Ambic Equipment are an innovative developer and manufacturer of Livestock products and Peristaltic Pumps based in Witney. Their apprentice, Finn, is four months into his two-year apprenticeship and attends the college three days a week.
"Through an apprenticeship, we've been able to hire and train for specifically what we've needed. Finn has been able to learn his core skills here at College, but then we can show him and train him in exactly what we need for the business. It's been really good to see some of the work Finn is doing here. You can see that all the apprentices are developing the skills they really need. They're around industry standard equipment here, so they know what it is and how to use it when they come back to the workshop”.
DIAMOND LIGHT SOURCE
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron light source science facility located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. Their Apprenticeship Manager and First Year Line Manager, Dawn and Lawrence, visited the Campus with two of their apprentices, Kian and Jake. Kian and Jake are both in their first year of a four-year apprenticeship.
"Young talent is really important to us. It's a great way to bring a fresh set of eyes to the company, as they often have no preconceived ideas. Kian and Jake learn on the job, so from day one they get to see how Diamond operates. They're trained specifically to the needs of Diamond so they won't need the same adjustment period to learn how Diamond operates that a fully qualified technician joining would."
"We've worked with Abingdon & Witney since September; there was a lot that we looked for in a provider, but mainly we wanted someone willing to work in partnership with us. To be open and honest when things go wrong, to be willing to work together to put things right, and simply to listen. Communication is really important, and apprenticeships need to be viewed how they are here, as almost a three-way system, where the employers, apprentices and provider all work together. You can tell that the apprentices are treated like employees, not school kids, in the college because when they come to diamond it shows. We have trust that the college will deliver what it says it will and that it will provide good quality training through a high standard of teaching".
The College was delighted to welcome Diamond Light Source, Ambic Equipment, Prototype Productions and the other engineering employers to visit. For any businesses considering recruiting an apprentice, we can help. Contact the College team on 01235 216 216 or via firstname.lastname@example.org