To celebrate the role of Science in Manufacturing, we spoke to Graeme Conway, Apprenticeship Mentor at ConocoPhillips to find out how apprentices add real value to the workforce.
As someone who has been involved in recruiting and employing apprentices for many decades, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of investing in apprenticeships for the future of the industry. Without new blood, the industry will eventually run short of competent technicians and tradespeople, which is why it is crucial to grow them from seed.
At our site, we offer traditional trades in electrical instrumentation and mechanical maintenance, alongside more specialized areas. We also have many machines on site, which means that we need a constant flow of skilled workers to keep everything running smoothly.
The great thing about investing in apprenticeships is that you can tailor the training to your specific standards and behaviors. We spend four years with them, with three of those years spent on site, making them valuable members of the team. By the time they complete their apprenticeship, they are already competent technicians, and they just fit straight in with the rest of the team.Graeme Conway
Our apprenticeships are open to everyone, and we have a fair recruitment process that is open to everyone, including those already on-site. We don’t discriminate when it comes to age or gender, as we believe that everyone deserves a fair chance.
We also believe in giving back to the community, which is why we actively participate in STEM activities and try to communicate with local education groups. We want to show young people that there are still trade-based careers out there, which are just as rewarding as office-based jobs.
However, it’s essential to remember that being an apprentice in our industry is not for everyone. It’s a hands-on job that requires a lot of time outside, and safety is our absolute priority.
If you’re considering an apprenticeship in the technical trade, I would wholeheartedly recommend it, as the demand for skilled workers increases they can provide rewarding, long-term job opportunities.
An apprenticeship may be hard work, but it will provide you with the skills and training you need to embark on a long and fulfilling career. So, if you’re up for the challenge, why not give it a go? It may just be the best decision you ever make.