Last month I was invited to meet the team at Green Lighting in Worcester. They are great advocates of apprenticeships. To Green Lighting, an apprenticeship is seen as a way of furthering your education. When you are employed by Green Lighting, you are not seen, or viewed, as an apprentice, you are a full time employee who contributes to the business as much as everyone else.
Jane, HR Director gave me a brief history of the company “Green Lighting Ltd is independently owned, we began in 2000 with a workforce of two and have grown steadily to a team of Seventeen, including nine employees on apprenticeships. Green Lighting supply, design and manufacture low energy lighting, exceeding the requirements of current building regulations. Primarily we provide innovative products, cost effectively to the UK house builder via direct specification. Being amongst the first companies to recruit staff through the original apprenticeship programmes, as primarily we required a workforce in a cost effective manner, with training in areas where we had a skills shortfall in order for the company to continue to grow. Initially the staff we employed were the traditional demographic of school leavers, however we soon recognised that established members of the team could take advantage of the apprenticeship framework to improve their skills set. Now a standard procedure within the company’s strategy and planning process, investing in training programmes for Green Lighting staff is key to the achievements of the business. Professional development is fundamental with each individual enrolled in some form of training to aid the business and their progression within it. Our training, learning and development approach is straightforward, all staff are offered some form of educational framework, to expand their skills, to develop expertise that will benefit them in their existing role, or diversify in to another area of the business.”
The benefit of a skilled workforce who feel valued is a priceless asset to a small emerging business like Green Lighting. The decision for engaging in apprenticeships was based on that philosophy. The highlight for the business has been the retention, loyalty, and commitment from its young workforce through tough economic times. Staff who were employed as school leavers are progressing into management roles, continuing their education and bringing these skills to the business.
Development of all staff has ensured that they realise their futures are entwined with the company’s increasing success and profitability. This is tangibly beneficial as they are able to progress into managerial roles increasing their earning potential significantly, a key motivator. Current apprenticeships undertaken are Warehousing & Logistics (Level 2), Sales (Level 3), Business (Level 4), Digital Media (Level 4 & 5), Accountancy & Team Leader (Level 3).
The most important thing to have is enthusiasm for the role. However, typical qualifications required before applying to Green Lighting are the following: All are dependent on role and age but as a standard, you would need up to A Level or Level 3 for an Advanced Apprenticeship or GCSE’s for Warehousing at Level 2.
The types of course you could do during your apprenticeship would be First Aid, Product Training, Health and Safety, and Risk Assessments.
I spoke to a few of the apprentices to see why they started an apprenticeship and the support they were given from family and friends for choosing this pathway:
Lauren, Business Development Leader, explained that she had started working as an apprentice at a small local company but felt there wasn’t a way of progressing within this company. She then found out about Green Lighting and decided to complete her apprenticeship there. When she first began her apprenticeship her family were sceptical but that soon changed when they realised that she was not only earning money and working, but also learning at the same time.
I spoke with the guys in the Warehouse. They came from a variety of backgrounds. Some started working at Green Lighting straight from school, others already had a full time job but decided that they wanted to do something different with their careers. All of them, however, told me their families were fully supportive of their pathway choice.
What I think is great about this is that it shows, no matter where start from, or what pathway you choose, it is never too late to decide to try an apprenticeship!
If reading this post has gotten you interested in what Green Lighting have to offer, you can apply through Training Providers, the Apprenticeship Website – https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship, and the Green Lighting website – http://www.greenlighting.co.uk/contact/
Until next time! For regular updates, follow @No1_apprentice