Metsec tackles skills gap with female apprentice

Voestalpine Metsec plc has appointed a new apprentice, Abbiegail Hill, as part of its commitment to bridging the skills gap and encouraging females to consider engineering and manufacturing roles.

Stephen Giles, environmental, safety and training manager at Metsec, said: “We recognise the importance of diversity in the construction industry and therefore it is important that UK engineering, construction and manufacturing companies seek female talent going forward and ensure the next generation is fully aware of the exciting opportunities available.

“Metsec is taking proactive steps to bring more women into the industry and we regularly attend local schools to initiate interest and discuss the options surrounding our work experience placements.”

Employed within the structural design department, Hill is the second female in recent months to be taken on at an advanced level. The scheme offers a fast-track approach and requires the apprentice to attend college four days a week with the remaining day spent on the job for the first six months of the course.

The student then spends the rest of the course in full-time employment as an apprentice. This approach provides students with the relevant technical knowledge to excel when working on site and to achieve the NVQ Level 3 qualification more quickly in comparison to other schemes.

At the end of an apprentice’s first six months, Metsec then recruits another student while allowing the current apprentice to move into a full-time position and gain hands-on experience.

Metsec’s award-winning training scheme has seen more than 100 engineering apprentices join the company over the last two decades and provides the next generation with a proven route to development.

Metsec apprentices have the opportunity to experience every aspect of the business and have access to the latest technology in the company’s state-of-the-art facility.

Giles continued: “Apprenticeships are a key part of Metsec’s culture as they bring fresh ideas and ensure we’re a strong competitive force in the market, and we welcome Abbiegail to the team. She is now one of three apprentices working towards a career in our structural design department, with each student having their own specialism at the end of their course.

“The advanced apprenticeship scheme that we offer is a great way for students to get hands-on experience and make a direct impact on the company at a rate that suits each learner.

“Looking ahead, we aim to take on at least one apprentice every six months to ensure there is a continual flow of young engineers entering the industry. This will not only futureproof our business but will help bridge the ongoing skills gap.”

About Elizabeth Jordan

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