A NORTH-East worker is using his experience as an apprentice to improve the way one of the region’s biggest businesses operates.
Jonathan Ovington was one of four trainees taken on by Hebburn-based engineering giant Siemens in 2007, its first intake in 13 years.
Now, he is pioneering a mentoring scheme to help current and future apprentices at the company get the most out of their training.
That’s a move which has been praised by South Tyneside Council as an example of private and public sector collaboration.
Throughout National Apprenticeship Week, the council is raising awareness of the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy.
Jonathan, 23, of South Shields, said: “The four of us were trailblazers in a way.
“It occurred to us there were ways in which the apprenticeships could be adapted to really benefit both the worker and Siemens.
“Then, as now, apprentices complete college and training school placements, and I felt it would make sense to liaise with them so that the projects they were setting could be tailored to the requirements of Siemens.”
With the backing and support of his bosses, Jonathan set up a mentoring scheme.
Last year, the council launched a scheme to help recruit 200 apprentices by March 2014, and it is already more than halfway to reaching its target.
“The benefits of apprenticeships are numerous, and, as Jonathan has shown, by communicating with colleges and training centres, the schemes can be tailored to benefit the employer and the apprentices,” said council leader Iain Malcolm.
Businesses interested in finding out more about apprenticeships can contact Sarah James at the council’s economic growth team on 424 7396 or by e-mailing email@example.com
Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice can contact Geoff Scott at the council’s adult and community learning department on 424 6488 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org