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16 May 2024

ERIKS RECEIVES 2500 APPLICATIONS FOR EXPANDED 2024 APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME

Eriks Industrial Services Ltd Stand: 4-G30
ERIKS RECEIVES 2500 APPLICATIONS FOR EXPANDED 2024 APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME

ERIKS has received 2500 applications to its expanded apprenticeship programme in just its second year. This response not only reflects ERIKS’ commitment to fostering a new generation of engineers to help meet its customers' needs for specialist technical help but is much needed positive news in the UK’s long struggle to attract young people towards engineering careers.

The first ERIKS apprenticeship programme started in 2023 and 13 engineering apprentices were taken on at ERIKS service centres across the UK. These apprentices get hands-on experience in the service centres while also studying for their Level 3 engineering fitter qualifications at SMB College in Leicester in regular one-week blocks.

Commenting on the first year’s intake Lori Broadhurst, Talent Development Partner at ERIKS said, “Our first-year programme is going well. We have had some notable successes with several of the apprentices taking on activities or going out to customer sites and completing their safety passports - which is ahead of where we thought they would be at this point. It shows how quickly our more experienced team members’ knowledge in the service centres is being passed on.”

 

The apprentices are on the second of four rotations, focusing on the skills that manufacturers and engineering businesses in their region require, and they will complete all four by the end of August. “In year 2 the apprentices will start specialising in two areas” adds Lori “the areas they enjoyed the most and which most suits their skill sets”.

In 2023 ERIKS was pleased to get more than 500 applications for its programme but in 2024 the programme has been expanded to 21 places with 17 engineering places and 4 in sales and service. To manage this expanded programme for 2024 Lori and ERIKS teamed up with Carbon60, a specialist STEM talent solutions consultancy with experience of managing apprenticeship schemes for businesses such as Virgin and British Airways. Carbon60 has worked with ERIKS for many years and was the perfect partner to manage the application process using their specialist knowledge and experience to attract candidates via multiple platforms including UCAS, Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. 

Working with Carbon60

By working with Carbon60 ERIKS has managed to attract 2500 applicants for their 2024 programme and they were committed to ensuring that all these applicants had, as Lori says, “A good candidate journey”. A Carbon60 team, familiar with the ERIKS business, filtered the CVs in the first instance before candidates used a specialist platform called I-Intro to answer some key competency questions and give a bit more information about themselves. According to Craig Lutman, from Carbon60, “We always try to combine tech and the human-touch. The platform we used for the first interview allowed the people at ERIKS to have a solid understanding of who the candidate is and how their mind works ahead of the assessment day.”

“We are trying to bring alive” says James Spurling, Operations Director – Engineering “the feeling of commitment to the process. This technology brings a level of engagement from the candidate, they are investing in a process. The applicants must go away, after Craig and his team have spoken with them, and think about the job and then submit something, answer questions, upload a 30-second video perhaps, what we get is high levels of engagement and retention. We are not just trying to fill an apprenticeship role, we want someone who will be with the business for many, many years and have a journey and a good career. The key component is the candidate commitment and engagement. If they don’t commit to the process they won’t go through the process.”

From the 2500 applications ERIKS will bring around 90 (roughly 4:1) to the next stage which is an assessment day at a service centre. 

Here, the candidates will meet with ERIKS team members for various meetings and interviews before places are offered.

Speaking to one of the 2023 apprentices, the assessment centre days are a positive experience. Katie, who works at the Northampton Service Centre says, “We had a presentation from the site manager and a tour of the facility and then we got to sit with various managers who asked us a range of questions and we were scored on those answers. I was contacted on the same afternoon and offered a place. The experience was genuinely interesting, something I had never done, and all the people I met were friendly.”

Looking to the future, ERIKS is to expand the programme further in future years as it seeks to provide its customers with the specialist knowledge they require. “We are looking already at 2025” says Lori, “looking at what we can do further whether that's around apprentices or graduates – there's a lot of planning to do.”

 

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