17 April 2020

Hemlow’s Improver Scheme – The Alternative To An Apprenticeship

Following on from National Apprenticeship Week back in February, we caught up with Charlie, who has been working and training with us as an Improver for the past year and a half. He’s given us some insight in to how the Improver programme has benefited him, and how this alternative to an Apprenticeship scheme has helped to boost his career.

Tell me a bit about yourself?

Hello! I’m Charlie, a 20-year-old Engineer training to be fully qualified in the industry. I am from East London, the home of the 2012 Olympics & West Ham united. I consider myself an interesting character and sometimes referred to as the class clown! However, I take my work seriously, and would definitely say that engineering is a passion of mine.


What inspired you to start your career on Hemlow’s Improver Scheme in engineering?

I’ve always been a hands-on person, wanting to dig deeper into something and get my hands dirty – I was never the office type. I liked the idea of being able to take on a role of responsibility for machinery and making buildings operate behind the scenes – the things you don’t get to see every day!


Why did you choose Hemlow for your Apprenticeship style scheme?

Hemlow was fairly small when I started and I think a lot of big companies don’t tend to offer the opportunities that Hemlow does. I started with a Plumbing qualification in domestic work and within 18 months I’m now able to understand what makes an office building operate and how it functions day-in, day-out.


What do you enjoy about working at Hemlow?

The engineers I work with are very supportive of what we call “The future” (i.e Myself). The managers, and other respective roles, assist on a daily basis in making sure we provide the services needed. I also enjoy having the ability to decide my own path in the company and how the managers provide us with the training needed to pursue those paths.


What would you say are some of the benefits the programme?

You are able to learn a lot. You get to understand how things work whilst not having the pressure of trying to keep up with more experienced engineers. You move at a pace that you are comfortable with and you’re given the chance to get the training and help needed to ensure that you will be able to progress to become an experienced engineer.


What advice would you give to anyone thinking of doing an Apprenticeship or Company based Improver scheme in engineering?

Have a plan of what kind of path you wish to take in engineering, pursue it, get the right training and the support needed, and take each day as it comes – it’s a lot to take in at times!


How has your role progressed since starting your training?

I’ve recently been given the opportunity to maintain my own buildings and I’m now more comfortable in doing so than I was when I first started. I still have some more progress to make, but as they say you never stop learning and I don’t intend to!


If you’d like to join our Hemlow Team, then click here.

If you would like to enquire about one of our training programmes, then please send an email to HR.Recruitment@hemlow.com.

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