The history of Boulting is well documented, dating back 100 years, and the success of the business with such a longevity is worthy of scrutiny. This shows where the company has come from, and how success has been consistently achieved, but also offers good pointers for the future.
A key factor, according to Nick Woollacott, Labour Manager, has been the Boulting board's attitude to apprenticeships.
Picture: Nick Woollacott (far left) and Paul Meagh, Engineering and Instrumentation Director (far right) of Boulting, with the 2015 intake of apprentices
‘These young people are the future and we give all who we employ in these roles as much support as we possibly can. Take a look at our current board and you will find many who started in the business as apprentices and worked their way up. In many respects the business has been built on this solid foundation,' commented Nick.
Boulting offers traditional, time-served apprenticeships in both the electrical and mechanical engineering fields. Apprenticeships last for four years, on the tools, and there is an option to carry on to study for an HNC, which includes day-release.
‘At any one time we may have up to 20 apprentices within the business working in electrical installation, mechanical engineering and panel wiring,' said Nick. ‘Our retention rate is high, but we may lose up to 10% due to career changes. This is to be expected considering many start the process at 16 years old.'
‘It is also notable that those who qualify and do move on, in what is recognised as a relatively transient industry, often come back to us and carry on with their careers.'
‘Many go on to build very successful careers, moving up the business, perhaps becoming a charge-hand, then supervisor and subsequently into a management or even a board position. There is no glass ceiling here as we have proved, but it does depend on the ambition and commitment of the individual,' he commented.
What advice would Nick give to a young person considering an engineering apprenticeship?
‘I would tell them, if they are offered one to go for it and get stuck in. It gives you a rounded view and an understanding of the industry, setting you up for a rewarding career.'
‘We recruit in the summer, when GCSE results are out, and put candidates through an aptitude test. An apprenticeship is a recognised City and Guilds qualification and this opens up opportunities both within the Boulting, or if you ever considered emigrating to the USA, Canada, Australia or many places throughout the world,' he concluded.
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