Tamworth-based, Apollo Chemicals, the UK’s largest privately-owned liquid adhesive, sealant coating and primer manufacturer, is celebrating the success of its apprenticeship programme as its first ever apprentice completes his training and two more start their journey.
Apollo took on Sam Lawson in July 2015 to help him gain his level 3 NVQ in Maintenance Engineering. Almost three years later he is now a fully-fledged Maintenance Operative and a permanent member of the Apollo Engineering team.
Looking back on his apprenticeship experience, Sam, who lives in Lichfield, said: “Being a hands-on, practical person, this was always going to be the best route for me. I’ve been paid to learn and managed to secure a full-time job. I have the confidence to take on a wide range of engineering projects and with continued support from Apollo hope to specialise in a particular area going forward.”
Apollo Managing Director, Ian Cornelius, said: “When recruiting we are always looking for people who are passionate about their chosen careers and we developed our apprenticeship programme to provide us with another recruitment avenue to do just that.
“It’s a two-way process, we are able to support the apprentices in their chosen field, providing on the job training, and we can grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Ultimately, we believe that our apprenticeship programme can support our succession planning and help to future-proof our business.”
Ellie Jackson from Rugeley and Hasan Haideri from Birmingham joined Apollo as Laboratory Technician apprentices, and just over six months into their training are already making a valuable contribution to Apollo’s Quality and Technical departments.
Ellie and Hasan are studying for a Btec Level 3 Laboratory Technician qualification and spend their week with the Quality and Technical teams and one day studying via a skype session with science industry apprentice organisation, Cogent Skills.
Both completed their A-levels and turned down university places in favour of an apprenticeship. Ellie said: “I was put off going to university by the amount of debt associated with it. Employers also seem to want experience and I believe apprenticeships are a great way of gaining experience whilst also working towards a qualification.” Hasan agrees, he said: “I decided not to go to university so that I could get hands-on experience in a field I’m really interested in. It’s also a great opportunity to get on the career ladder learning from the experts and earn money whilst learning and gaining relevant experience.”
When asked if their apprenticeship is what they expected, Ellie said: “It’s better than expected and much more varied. It’s not just lab work which keeps things interesting. Apollo is a friendly place to work too and it’s encouraging to see how the business has supported other colleagues who have progressed and worked their way up the ladder.” Hasan added: “To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started, but it’s been great and I’m really enjoying learning and doing practical work.”
Following the success of Apollo’s apprenticeships programme so far, the business is now looking to extend the programme further. Managing Director, Ian Cornelius added: “We are currently working with South Staffordshire College to take on an Accounts apprentice and are excited to follow the progress of our current apprentices as we continue to support them and help them reach their full potential in their chosen careers.”
For further information about Apollo or its apprenticeship programme, visit: www.apollo.co.uk or call T:01827-54281.