Mind the (skills) gap: SYNETIQ supports National Apprenticeship Week 2022
SYNETIQ, the UK’s leading integrated vehicle salvage, dismantling and recycling business launched its Metal Recycling General Operative apprenticeship scheme in September 2021. Now, in anticipation of National Apprenticeship Week 2022, the business is reflecting on the scheme’s success four months into the 12-month long course.
The first of its kind in the industry, the scheme offers students the chance to learn on the job at SYNETIQ’s headquarters in Doncaster and other sites in Winsford and Gloucester, with a job guaranteed upon completion. The first cohort began their studies in September 2021 and are completing training across five key areas of SYNETIQ’s operations: warehousing, dispatch, vehicle imaging, and dismantling end of life vehicles.
Euan Harlington, 24 from Balby, Doncaster, said he was attracted to the variety that the apprenticeship offered. “We rotate every month across five departments, so we get a taste of everything that goes on. It’s great for me because it wasn’t an industry I was really familiar with and I didn’t know which part of the business I wanted to work in. Now I’ve got experience in every area of operations and know that I enjoy dismantling the most, so it’s something I want to pursue after I finish the course.”
Apprentices learn on the job with support from their managers and the wider team. “Everyone is always so willing to help out and the support my manager has given me has been really helpful.” Euan continued.
The Metal Recycling General Operative apprenticeship scheme was the first of its kind in the automotive recycling industry, developed in partnership with an accredited automotive education training provider. Created to help close the automotive industry’s skills gap, SYNETIQ hopes similar businesses will introduce training opportunities of their own.
Available for all ages, from school-leavers to professionals with years of experience under their belt, apprenticeship schemes are often hailed as an “exciting option”, giving learners hands-on training and the chance to put their newly learnt skills into action. For SYNETIQ, this means the apprentices will be trained and ready to hit the ground running at the end of their course.
“Apprenticeships are a great solution for businesses who want to develop new and existing colleagues’ skills that are relevant to their organisation, to plug any skills gaps. Apprenticeships like the Metal Recycling General Operative scheme are adaptable and the training can be tailored to suit the needs of the business, so you know your apprentices will be learning what they need for success in their chosen field,” said Michael Hill, Head of Operations at SYNETIQ.
SYNETIQ apprenticeships form an integral part of the business’s CSR strategy, which includes a strong focus on offering learning and development opportunities for the next generation as well as its existing colleagues.
The business, which operates at 12 sites across the UK, regularly donates vehicles and parts to automotive colleges and vocational learning centres including Bradford College for students to gain firsthand experience on.
Following the schemes’ success, the business is already planning the launch of its 2022 intake to bring more employment opportunities to the local area. SYNETIQ will also be attending Opportunities Doncaster Live, the borough’s largest careers fair, to meet school leavers and their families and raise awareness of opportunities in the business.
Main Photo Caption: Euan Harlington at SYNETIQ’s Doncaster headquarters