Apprenticeships provide opportunity for people to be their best and build a stronger business

Michael Burgess, Chief People Officer
06 February 2023
Image of a female Amey employee wearing PPE, standing with their back o the camera on a bridge.
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This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week is Skills for Life, and I have been reflecting on my own journey and how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career

What I think we all need to remember is that our career journeys are unique to us as individuals.

My career started as a 16-year-old undertaking a 3-year City & Guilds Apprenticeship. I then followed this working in the public and private sectors gaining further BTEC certificates in the field of Parks and Amenities and becoming an expert in the maintenance of cricket squares, golf courses and bowling greens.

Over time, my ambitions developed and I worked hard in getting further qualifications and experience. To the point where I am now a Fellow of the Chartered institute of Personnel and Development and proudly, the Chief People Officer of Amey.

Apprenticeships are an incredible way for talent at any age or stage to progress in their career or enter a new field. They equip us with essential learning skills, in fact, skills for life.

In my current role I am pleased to say that Amey, as a large modern and progressive organisation, is well placed to provide apprenticeship opportunities for those in both early careers and later stages. Amey shares the view that I hold that here is huge value in developing talent, and I believe it is this new talent that will help Amey to innovate and excel.

I am already heartened by the achievements of the past and present apprentices at Amey. Their confidence is inspiring, and their ambitions and abilities are allowing them to become future leaders within both business and wider society.

In our sector, it’s anticipated that an extra quarter of a million construction workers will be needed by 2026, and yet, we have a considerable skills shortage, as well as an ageing workforce. It is a huge opportunity to close the skills and opportunity gap through pro-actively recruiting and upskilling those that face barriers or are long-term unemployed.

Currently 5% of Amey employees are already apprentices, sponsored students or graduates on formalised training schemes. With more being recruited for regularly. I hope others follow suit.

I know from my experience that one size does not fit all and so our range of opportunities mean we can provide learning and development experiences that can get the best out of each individual. Amey apprenticeship programmes offer a range of learning and development opportunities which range from professional qualifications, mentorships and learning and development workshops.

To support our individual approach, along with the technical skills and qualification that go with Amey apprenticeships, we also offer opportunities to acquire skills that are transferable and required for practically any job. These skills, including problem solving, teamwork and leadership, improve life chances and productivity.

We work with the Skills Builder Partnership to support the development of these essential skills and Amey apprentices, at any stage of their career, go through the Essential Skills Academy, providing them with fully resourced group training, as well as individual skills benchmarking and personalised development goals.

I am proud to share my career journey this National Apprenticeship Week, and I hope that it shows that apprenticeships can start your career, help you change fields and learn skills for life.

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