National Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday 5 February to Sunday 11 February. The week serves to bring together everyone passionate about apprenticeships to celebrate the value, benefit and opportunity that they bring.
In Greater Manchester, we recognise the contribution and opportunities they bring to city region - its people and its businesses and aim to lead the way in apprenticeship employment, providing quality opportunities for learning and development. Read more on our vision here.
Pell Frischmann is a specialist advisory and technical consultancy operating across the built and natural environment, helping to shape a better future for the communities in which we work.
In 2018, Pell Frischmann re-established itself in Manchester with only one employee. As a result of successful project deliveries in the region, they have grown rapidly and now have a team of 50 employees.
Through this growth, they have created a variety of job opportunities for people in the local area, including apprenticeships, graduate positions and senior consultant and director roles.
We caught up with Matthew Davies, North West Growth Director at Pell Frischmann to discover how they utilise apprenticeship programs in their company.
How has your company integrated apprenticeship programs into your business model?
Developing a diverse, enthused, future ready skilled work force has become a key factor for us to achieve further growth and the continued success of our design and consultancy practice.
We invest in locally based people through our apprenticeship programme, many “year in industry” placements, T Level roles and through our graduate programme. Our apprentices follow a structured and varied programme of experience gathering and skill development that aligns with the broad range of service that we deliver to a broad client base.
This in turn creates robust, rounded, experienced individuals that understand our culture, our business, and the wider industry. This programme sits alongside formal qualifications with all our apprentices going on to ultimately achieve degree level qualifications and professional qualifications.
Integration into a company’s workforce and team is important in highlighting the human element of apprenticeship programs. Shedding light on the strategies implemented to blend into a company’s existing work environment shows a commitment to building a supportive workplace culture.
How do Pell Frischmann incorporate their apprentices into the company’s workforce?
Apprentices are incorporated into the company from day one. They follow a tailored induction and training programme but are then encouraged to deliver real tasks on our projects from the get-go. As such our apprentices are valued members on the projects teams immediately.
Pell Frischmann apprentices are given the opportunity to work in different departments and different specialisms so as to experience a variety of things. Each apprentice has a buddy and a mentor/line manager. These roles are incredibly important in the development journey and as a business we put incredible value in these roles and the outcomes that they create. Regular formal catch up meetings (weekly/bi-weekly one to ones) are diarised allowing constant and consistent dialogue to support individuals’ development plans.
All our apprentices are part of an early careers cohort and network. They attend monthly briefings on key messages such as “Our Culture”, Health and Safety, Quality Assurance, Commercial management, Hazard and Risk and are encouraged in these briefing to make time to speak with other early years staff, share experiences, promote a learning culture and create relationships with peers.
It is important be able to reflect on how a company benefits from employing apprentices. Understanding the advantages gained provides valuable insights into the value of the implementation of apprenticeship programs.
In your own words, how would you describe the benefits of the apprenticeship programme to your company?
Pell Frischmann benefits from the apprentice programme by developing a diverse, high quality, loyal human resource that have career-oriented mindset. They understand our culture, the ways that we work, the things that make us stand out from the competition, they have broad skill set, are given a range of experiences that is perfectly aligned with our service offering.
Other benefits from the apprentice programme include offering us with an effective route and flexibility for succession planning. This is because by developing apprentices we ensure that vital skills are transferred and provide us with prepared, qualified candidates to step up when necessary. Apprentices provide us with a measurable and tangible way of fulfilling our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets and that is incredibly important to us as a responsible business.