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We are delighted to share the stories of a couple of our apprentices who took part in the UK’s National Apprenticeship Week. Introducing Nathan Hunter and Rachel Carr:

NATHAN is in the second year of a four-year full-time Production Technician programme delivered by the TTE* Technical Training Group and will join our Cassel site team in the UK this summer. TTE and Cleveland Fire Brigade worked together on an initiative during National Apprenticeship Week to install smoke alarms for the people of Teesside as part of work safety training and Nathan was selected to be involved as one of the best performing apprentices in his cohort. Locations with a potentially higher safety risk, including the homes of older or disabled people were the main priority. After undertaking an induction programme at Billingham Fire Station, which included sessions on health and safety, confidentiality and home fire safety, Nathan joined a Fire Brigade team. He said: “This was a new experience for me and a great opportunity to develop my skills and work with the public.” Nathan will spend the next two years continuing his training while working on Cassel site with one of our shift production teams. He will also attend college for one day a week to complete his HNC in Chemical Engineering.  Nathan is due to finish his LI-sponsored Apprenticeship in 2017.

RACHEL is in the first year of a two-year Young Scientist (YS) programme, also delivered by TTE. For National Apprenticeship week Rachel was asked to participate in TTE’s ‘Girls into Science’ event – arranged to educate school pupils about the job opportunities in Science and Engineering.  As one of our current apprentices on the YS programme, Rachel along with former YS student and now LI employee, Vicky Hunter, were able to share their personal experiences of training and working in the Chemical Industry. Rachel said: “As the Young Scientist in LI’s Cassel site laboratory, I am training to be a Laboratory Analyst; this includes analysis of all of the samples that we receive from the plant, using varied methods and equipment. I have the opportunity to get involved with equipment calibration and I go out on to the plant to collect samples – things that not many undergraduates get the chance to do.” After her first year at university Rachel decided she wanted to work in industry to gain experience while continuing to study for her degree. Once she started working at LI she swapped to part-time at university. “I enjoy the fact that every day there is something new to learn in the lab and there are lots of highly skilled people who are willing to train me on the equipment. Even as an apprentice, I am seen as part of the team and I am able to get involved in everything that we do in the lab.”

Our approach in LI is to deliver quality on-site work experience for apprentices to learn and embed their technical job skills, but also to develop their ‘softer skills’. Giving our apprentices the chance to get involved in a wide range of activities helps them develop their communication, interpersonal and presentation skills, which supports their overall personal development. Participating in the types of activities that Nathan and Rachel have done recently is a great way of helping apprentices build their self-awareness and self-confidence by meeting and working with others outside of their day-to-day apprenticeship roles.

* TTE is a not for profit organisation where surpluses made from their business go back in to the local community in order to provide training opportunities such as apprenticeships and off the job training to the immediate region.