The University of Manchester Technical Apprenticeship Programme in Engineering Operations and Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities was created in 2013 by Technical managers across FSE to help solve the future demand for skilled technical staff across the University by granting young local people entry to employment via well thought out and structured training positions.
The programme is organised to encourage apprentices to develop their careers over time and become analytical scientist/support staff, senior experimental officers, laboratory technicians, technical service managers or project managers, replacing some of the outgoing staff.
The programme of activities needed to be extensive and beyond a ‘standard’ apprenticeship. We recognise young people won’t necessarily know precisely what they want to do. The structure includes continuous rotation through laboratories and workshop facilities throughout their training period. This ensures our apprentices are aware of the whole University operation and are more able to select and be selected for appropriate vacancies as they arise.
The programme equips the apprentice with a set of transferable skills that will afford the opportunity to develop a rewarding career as either a ‘Specialist Laboratory Support Technician’ or ‘Specialist Engineering Support Technician’ upon successful completion of the apprenticeship. In addition the apprentices are taught essential life skills such as University accounting procedures, interview skills, report writing, people and project management skills. Apprentices are encouraged to network across the Faculties, providing a chance for them to grow their personal networks and maintain contacts throughout their lifetime. Regular ‘get-togethers’ across all the cohorts for peer support and networking are organized centrally to facilitate networking, team building and communication.
Since the Technical Apprenticeship Programme began in 2013, 9 apprentices have secured permanent positions within the University indicating the success of the programmed activities and the quality of education and training received. It is anticipated that all apprentices will secure employment. We understand that on completion of their apprenticeship, some may choose to seek employment elsewhere using their University of Manchester Technical Apprenticeship as a lever. Since we have a massive variety of roles at all levels, we actively endeavor to place our learners within the organization at a point that is acceptable to both apprentice and management.
The University is ambitious, raising its expectations and current targets year on year. These goals cannot be achieved without a significant investment in professionalism and training of our technical staff. The apprenticeship programme seeks to filter staff in from the base, continue to educate and train continuously and allow these highly motivated individuals to permeate the entire technical structure, carrying and spreading their enthusiasm as they go. One of the greatest challenges is keeping all our young learners motivated and on-message as they pursue their careers throughout the University.
Great thanks go to all our technical staff connected to the Technical Apprenticeship Programme. Their dedication, enthusiasm and ability to pass on technical knowledge are key to the future success of the programme.
Recruitment for a September 2017 start is underway, see following link: