Today marks the start of the 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week. A celebration that puts a spotlight on the value that apprenticeships and training have for businesses across all sectors, for communities, and for the economy.
At Smith of Derby we are extremely proud, not only of the award-winning apprenticeship scheme we have been running for the last six years – in partnership with Learning Unlimited, but also of our successful links with local learning establishments, the University of Derby and the JCB Academy. We have been able to strengthen our team thanks to our ambitious apprenticeship scheme and the University’s Graduate Recruitment Programme having employed seven apprentices over the last six years and five University of Derby graduates who have joined other areas of the business.
Training is at the heart of our business as we recognise its importance for our continued success and, to draw from the theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, to ‘Build the Future.’ Our ‘old hands’ and apprentices receive regular training in our dedicated turret clock centre which is installed with clocks and the different types of mechanical and electrical equipment that they might encounter out on site. From our longest serving clockmaker Jonathan Lee, who started with us as an apprentice in 1970 through to our most recent apprentices, we are always investing in and creating opportunities for our team to enable us to continue the Smith of Derby story and build on our success of the last 165 years.
Jack Biggin, one of our most recent apprentices says, “I started at Smith of Derby in May 2019 and have enjoyed every minute since. I started college in the following September, I am now in my second and final year there. Smith of Derby offers a wide range of training to help you complete the jobs to the best of your abilities. This can be anything from a first aid course to a rope access course. I’ve had the chance to travel to many places around the UK and even to travel abroad too. It’s a great place to work and the support you receive from the team is second to none. There is also the opportunity to get involved in different areas of the business. I am currently helping out in the Planning Department; this gives me a good overview of how the company works and how to do my job better.”