The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Apprenticeships – An Employer’s Golden Ticket

Apprenticeships – An Employer’s Golden Ticket
07 February 2020

Nearly three years on from the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, the Department for Education (DfE) has noted a 10% increase of apprenticeships between 2018 and 2019, as released in their figures in March 2019.

With reforms to the original levy rules coming into action last year, notably the 15% increase in the proportion of their funding contributions with smaller companies, employers across the UK are dynamically working to ensure their employees are gaining the right skills from the very start of their careers.

Waterman Group, a consultancy providing sustainable solutions for the property, infrastructure, environment and energy markets, have been working to develop their apprenticeship offering.

As a business, Waterman believes in the importance of bringing new talent into the industry and is actively working alongside schools, colleges and universities, the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Construction Youth Trust, London Boroughs of Southwark, Bexley and Lewisham, Midland Metro Alliance, XLP and ACE, amongst others.


Apprenticeships versus university


With many students daunted by the prospect of investing a minimum of three years undertaking a course, especially when tuition fees were hiked up to £9,000 in 2012, apprenticeships have proved an equal opponent to university. This has been achieved by allowing an individual to achieve a higher-level qualification whilst gaining invaluable experience within the workplace.

A recent survey by ITV asked 800 parents their thoughts on the ongoing apprenticeship versus university debate. 59% believed that apprenticeships provide better job opportunities than going to university alone. 51% said they would encourage their child to apply for an apprenticeship over a full-time degree.

Amongst the young talents at Waterman is Tahirah Tang-Campbell, a Structures Apprentice who joined in September 2017. 


In October 2019, she became one of the faces for M&C Saatchi’s ‘Fire It Up’ apprenticeships campaign for the DfE as part of a wider-reaching platform to inspire students to consider the variety of roles available to them outside of the university. Following the campaign’s success, she has been able to promote the importance of apprenticeships on a global scale, most recently speaking to the Australian Government about the advantages for their students if they were to take more control of their futures. 

She explains:

“An apprenticeship is so much more than just learning on the job, it’s a personal development opportunity. A lot of individuals who take on an apprenticeship are usually at the start of their careers and have minimal to no theoretical or practical experience, so there is a lot to learn in terms of interpersonal, communication and adaptability skills. Each new task has allowed me to grow as a person and I’ve seen a change in the way I present myself, professionally as well as outside of the office.”  

“An apprenticeship is so much more than just learning on the job, it’s a personal development opportunity” 

– Tahirah Tang-Campbell

Structures Apprentice, Waterman

However, apprenticeships do not only procure a positive future for an employee. An independent study by the UK Government found that 59% of 555 decision-makers in organisations in England thought apprenticeships were more valuable to them, as it allows them the opportunity to grow their businesses from the bottom up.

In June, Waterman was awarded ‘Apprentice Employer of the Year’ at the Southwark Business Excellence Awards as a result of Nick Harrison, their Group Learning and Development Manager, taking the lead on a number of initiatives in order to develop and deliver an apprenticeship scheme that will lead to more successful careers in engineering and environmental science. 

When reflecting on the increasing number of apprentices that have joined the business across the last three years, Nick commented:

 “2019 was a great year for Waterman as we continued to build on the company’s social value activity and our apprentices were pivotal to these successes. It is highly rewarding to see each candidate’s passion for learning and eagerness to get involved in cutting-edge work as they actively contribute to the business, making the most of the learning opportunities they have been given or proactively sought. Building relationships with internal colleagues and external partners has been vital in making the most of the Apprenticeship Levy since it was introduced in 2017 and I am looking forward to further embedding the scheme in 2020 and beyond.”

Picture: Waterman Group, a consultancy providing sustainable solutions for the property, infrastructure, environment and energy markets, have been working to develop their apprenticeship offering.

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 07 February 2020


Related Articles

New Requirements for Fire, Emergency and Security Occupations 

The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme has issued a reminder to ECS cardholders that from 1 July 2021, anybody renewing an ECS Fire Detection & Alarm Systems...

 Read Full Article
Sodexo Launches Apprenticeship Programme for Future Engineers

Sodexo has launched a technical apprenticeship programme to attract new engineering talent and develop a pool of skilled engineers and future managers. The first...

 Read Full Article
Disruption to Training Means Apprentices Need Extra Support, Says AELP

Urgent action is required to help young people whose training has been cut short by COVID-19, according to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers. The...

 Read Full Article
Looking Beyond Traditional Ways To Recruit

Facilicom's managing director, Jan Hein Hemke is opinionated when it comes to the issue of apprentices and the need to look beyond the traditional routes to...

 Read Full Article
J.E.E.P. On Moving Don't Stop

Amey is working with Severn Trent to deliver a new apprenticeship programme, while ABM UK kicked off year three of their Junior Engineering Engagement...

 Read Full Article
Most Brits Think They Are Too Old For An Apprenticeship

Two thirds of the UK workforce wrongly believe they are too old to become an apprentice and that the age barrier is between 16-24 when in fact, there is no age...

 Read Full Article
ThisWeekinFM Spotlight Interview - Combined Technical Solutions

Combined Technical Solutions or CTS as the company is better known, ­delivers complete mechanical and electrical building services. The company's relatively...

 Read Full Article
Apprenticeship Levy Failure Sees Apprenticeships Decline

The Apprenticeship Levy has failed to increase investment in workplace training and needs urgent reform, the Chartered Institute of Professional Development has...

 Read Full Article
Apprenticeship Scheme Hits Ten Year Mark

The Artic training & apprenticeship scheme has now been running since 2009 and has become a source of young people to bolster the company's own engineering base...

 Read Full Article
Better for Amey As Kleiman Wins Most Promising Technician Award

Amey apprentice James Kleiman has been awarded Most Promising Technician at the annual Civil Engineering Contraction Association (CECA) Scotland awards. Kleiman joined...

 Read Full Article