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Rock solid future for apprenticeship graduates

Two Isle of Wight apprentices are celebrating the successful completion of their four-year training courses with Wight Building Materials.

Aaron McHugh and Steve Deacon have secured Level 3 NVQ qualifications in their chosen specialist areas while learning practical skills ‘on the job’ at the Island’s leading supplier of construction and building materials.
Wight Building Materials (WBM) is a keen supporter of apprenticeships which provide young people with practical skills needed in the workplace and reinforces those with academic qualifications from college.

Aaron, 24 from Newport, studied electrical engineering during his apprenticeship which involved maintaining the electrical management system at WBM, carrying out monthly checks and prioritising repairs. Every six weeks he travelled to Stephenson College in Leicestershire for academic study.

“After finishing sixth form I saw an advert for an apprenticeship in electrical engineering and it really appealed to me. I liked the practical aspect of the job, being able to spend time working outside carrying out problem solving tasks,” said Aaron.
“I’m so glad I applied as I have gained so many new skills which I can confidently put to use in the workplace. I’ve improved my ability to plan tasks, think out a logical sequence of events to complete my jobs and developed my use of communication both with colleagues and with suppliers which has resulted in an improved and more efficient work output.
” I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to those considering the option, it has given me an opportunity to not only learn about electrical systems from an academic point of view but has allowed me to apply this knowledge into real life scenarios on a day-to-day basis, which has ultimately been a lot more beneficial to me than just classroom based studies.” 

Steve, 25 from Sandown, joined WBM from Brockenhurst College. Focusing on mechanical engineering, he has learned practical welding and fabrication skills while maintaining WBM’s extensive fleet of plant machinery.

Steve said: “WBM has been a great place to develop my engineering skills as there are so many opportunities for me to apply my learning. As well as the practical welding and fabricating skills, the apprenticeship has also allowed me to learn about teamwork, working to timescales, solving problems quickly and on the spot – and also the importance of hard work.”

Both apprenticeships have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, with their graduations being delayed due to the temporary closure of the college. However, work continued at WBM as both employees had important work to carry out as the company continued to supply materials for building projects across the Island. Steve Burton, general manager at WBM, said: “We are incredibly proud to support local young people through our apprenticeship schemes. Aaron and Steve have developed into competent members of our team. “We’re pleased to have them in our workforce. They have worked hard to continually develop skills and apply their classroom learning to their work here on site and I am confident both have bright futures ahead of them.”


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