An update from CEATA

Still business as usual for all of our engineering apprentices who are making excellent progress through remote learning and support. After a number of weeks trialing different approaches we have finally found a method to engage and inspire our apprentices.

In our early planning the team decided to put the current schemes of work on hold and chose a project which could be worked on by all apprentices remotely and which provided learning and practice of new knowledge and was a fit with all our apprentices; Metal Fabricators, Mechanical Maintenance and Engineering Technicians.  Initially we tried weekly calls with an instructor, about an hours duration but this was often difficult despite arranging call appointments many didn’t pick up and some had IT issues, technical instructors became disillusioned sat at home in isolation really wanting to work with the apprentices but having problems. We started with Skype and are still using it, often that has issues which all added to the frustrations. So what have we done? We have put our apprentices into small cohorts and the technical tutors deliver a range of theoretical weekly sessions over Skype which last 60-90 minutes each, the sessions are then followed up with individual apprentices by phone/Skype to confirm next steps and answer any queries. A bi-weekly webinar for all apprentices so far has covered maths, safeguarding, Prevent, Health and Safety, E and D and career planning – CEATA staff delivered a 5-10 minute bite size slot each and notes from the webinar are available to apprentices through OneFile. Although we had to ask all but the speaker to mute their mics and turn off the video the chat was alive with questions and feedback. As a result all of our apprentices are engaged and with several weeks of remote working many are now aspiring to merits and distinctions and the instructors are much happier as they are able to see real progress and have strengthened their working relationships with their cohorts. Using Skype for the smaller groups ensured apprentices have interaction with each other and they to have begun to use various platforms to help and support each other. Short fun quizzes have kept all of us entertained some engineering based and others more general but they help keep up morale and healthy competition. We have kept in regular contact with our employers who are all really supportive and all committed to helping their apprentices progress and stay safe.

I’m sure we will continue to adapt and change, we are looking at using MS Teams to see if the call quality improves but overall we are pleased with our achievements. Looking ahead we will open up applications from employers to start new apprentices from August so if you would like to know more about our specialist apprenticeships and other engineering training please get in touch to be part of our success story. Stay safe and well everyone and stay positive.

Call us Today

To discuss a training course, arrange a visit to the Academy and receive expert advice, please contact the CEATA Training Manager; you’ll be glad you did!

Call: 0115 986 6321 or Email Us

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Pre-Employment Training Success Stories

We’re very pleased to share some positive news this week in the success of our pre-employment course, and the amazing results achieved by our recent batch of learners.

Our 6-week course is designed to help and inspire people who are currently unemployed, giving them a chance to learn new skills and gain quality qualifications in engineering, providing them with the best start for their new career.

CEATA aims to provide valuable hands-on experience for our students, with two of our most recent learners, Ed and George, completing their course in December 2018. We’re happy to confirm that they will now be moving on to complete a full CEATA apprenticeship through Canal Engineering in the new year.

Another success story we’re proud to share is the achievement of James, who had made redundant in tough circumstances before coming to CEATA. We were able to help him rebuild his confidence and engineering skills, and after completing the course in May he is now on track to becoming a tutor.

So many of our successful learners are now working in local engineering businesses and firms, after excelling in our short term courses. We always aim to ensure that after completion of the course, there are plenty of job interviews, work placements and further training available.

 

Currently, we have some incredible employers waiting for people with engineering potential to join their teams, so if you’re looking for the next push in your career, get in touch.

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Call us Today

To discuss a training course, arrange a visit to the Academy and receive expert advice, please contact the CEATA Training Manager; you’ll be glad you did!

Call: 0115 986 6321 or Email Us

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Why many engineering students are struggling to find work

 

It is often said that British engineering firms are struggling to recruit graduates. Speak to engineering students or recent graduates and you’ll find that many have also struggled to find work. So what’s going on?

While there are many factors that contribute to the problem, two of the main issues for engineering companies and graduates alike are fierce competition, and a lack of hands-on experience.

Competition

Many engineering graduates will tell you that the job market is incredibly competitive, with a whole academic year’s worth of students seeking employment in the same companies, battling it out through rigorous applications, psychometric testing and assessment days.

The larger, more well-known companies understandably attract more applications. They also have greater resources available to provide a presence at careers fairs and other recruitment events. New graduates may wish to work for a household name, or may be attracted by the prestige and glamour of a known brand. This may mean that they don’t even give SMEs second thought.

With only a limited number of new graduates to go around, this leads to fierce competition at established companies, and an engineer drought for SMEs.

How can we combat competition?

SMEs could strive to provide more of a presence at local careers events. This would make their company known to students who are considering an engineering career and making it an attractive option.

During the degree program or other training, educators could emphasise the broad opportunities available in the engineering sector. For example, this may include mapping out a variety of unusual pathways that get students thinking about alternative options.

SMEs could work with training academies to offer apprenticeships to learners, allowing them to utilise the training provider’s wide network to get the company name out there and to attract new employees at an earlier stage.

Universities and other education institutes could do more to make engineering sound more attractive to potential students. This may include utilising realistic, high starting salaries, exciting projects, unusual sectors and industry placements to advertise the potential.

Large companies that receive excess applications could work with SMEs to pair them up with potential candidates. This allows smaller businesses to benefit from the surplus and provides more opportunities for graduates.

Lack of hands-on experience

Although engineering students leave formal education with plenty of theoretical knowledge, many companies feel that they lack the necessary hands-on experience to jump straight in. While nobody expects entry-level engineers to have a complete working knowledge of all 3D design packages and manufacturing equipment, candidates have a serious advantage if they are able to display real-world industry experience.

Many engineering courses include a placement element, which help students to learn more about working in engineering. However, places are limited or may not be relevant to a student’s desired field. Not all courses and not all universities offer these placements, which can put students at a disadvantage.

Smaller companies often do not have the available resources or protocols in place to provide in-depth training for graduates. This means that engineering graduates may receive limited training, or may not be hired at all due to their lack of hands-on experience.

For this reason, many companies are looking to hire apprentices. Apprentices learn practical skills on the job and are often more able to hit the ground running than academically-focused engineering graduates. Some companies state that they value experience over grades, although this is not always the case.

How can we combat lack of hands-on experience?

Universities and training providers could work with a wider range of businesses to implement and improve placement programs within their courses.

We could encourage businesses to make the most of the apprenticeship levy. This would allow them to train engineers on the job with minimal impact to company resources.

Schools could do more to increase the awareness of apprenticeships and other practical-based qualifications such as BTECs. This will allow students to make an informed decision on how best to prepare for a career in engineering.

Engineering students who are struggling to find work due to lack of hands-on experience could top up their existing theory-based qualifications with a practical course at a college or training academy.

Hands-on training for engineering students

CEATA offers a range of hands-on training courses in engineering disciplines, allowing people to upskill and broaden their practical abilities. Our offering ranges from half-day instructional courses all the way up to four-year apprenticeships, and everything in between.

Trainees will work at our dedicated Engineering Training Academy in Nottingham. Here, they will benefit from first-hand experience of engineering operations, learn safe working practices and develop real, usable skills.

Take a look at our list of courses, or get in touch with us to find out more.

Call us Today

To discuss a training course, arrange a visit to the Academy and receive expert advice, please contact the CEATA Training Manager; you’ll be glad you did!

Call: 0115 986 6321 or Email Us

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