Apprentices check in with politicians
South West Water apprentices Martha-Jo Dare and Kelly Carstens, from Totnes, kicked off National Apprenticeship week with a visit to the seat of Government with their local MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston.
The two apprentices had a tour of the Houses of Parliament and enjoyed a Ministerial Q and A session in the Commons on apprenticeships, universal credit and unemployment. When they met Sarah, they discussed their own apprenticeship with South West Water and how more young people can be encouraged to take up an apprenticeship.
Martha-Jo, 20, is an apprentice ICA Technician with South West Water, helping to programme and maintain the control equipment that helps make our water safe to drink.
She said: "I was inspired by my visit to the Houses of Parliament. To be able to observe at first hand MPs debating key issues in the seat of power that will influence our lives and futures was amazing."
Kelly, 32, is in his second year as a drinking water operations apprentice based in Torbay and Totnes.
He said: "I'm a mature apprentice but, regardless of my age, it's been a great career option and I am just loving the training and the opportunities it is offering.
"Not only am I gaining experience in a very technical field, soon I'll achieve a nationally recognised diploma in water engineering which will secure my future employment. I would recommend apprenticeships at any stage to any age."
"Thanks to Dr Sarah Wollaston and her team as well as South West Water for an inspiring day at Westminster."
Dr Wollaston said: "It was a pleasure to host Kelly and Martha-Jo in Westminster as part of this year's National Apprentice Week celebrations and to hear about the South West Water apprenticeship programme, including the support given for their 2 or 3 year programmes. Apprenticeships have such a positive impact on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. I hope that all pupils will have the opportunity to hear from apprentices themselves so that they can find out more about the benefits of an apprenticeship."
With its established apprenticeship programme, which was introduced in 2011, South West Water is leading the South West in recruiting, developing and employing apprentices.
A top 100 City and guilds Apprentices Employer, the water utility has around 60 current and graduating apprentices on its books - some five percent of its workforce.
Look out for new South West Water apprenticeship opportunities later this year.
Published: 10 March 2015
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South West Water
Notes to Editors
1. Apprentices at South West Water work in a range of operational and business support roles and the company is planning to recruit up to 30 apprentices in 2015 to work right across its business.
2. Roles vary from the hands-on operational through to information services, communications, customer service, finance or facilities management.
3. Eighty-eight per cent of Operations apprentices have been
offered permanent roles.
4. Martha and Kelly's visit was on Monday 9 March.
5. ICA stands for Instrumentation, Control and Automation