Scarborough-based power service and solutions company, Dale Power Solutions, is supporting social mobility across the Yorkshire coastal region. Mark Carter, business support manager, explains how.
Why and how did you opt to ‘grow your own’ future talent at Dale Power?
We tried a graduate recruitment programme, but as applicants lacked basic skills, it took over 18 months to recruit one electrical and one mechanical design graduate. So we reflected on how our existing talent came to work at Dale Power and decided to relaunch our apprenticeship scheme.
We started with apprenticeships in electrical and mechanical engineering but now have apprentices in IT, finance, project management, purchasing health and safety and quality management and are also recruiting in warehousing.
We’re also increasing work experience placements, careers fairs, factory tours, one-to-one student mentoring, teacher support, talks and presentations in schools and mock interview sessions.
Exam results only tell me a small part about a person. I want to find out about their employability”
To engage with local schools and raise awareness of engineering, apprenticeships and future careers, we spoke to NYBEP, a social enterprise which brings education and industry together; they are still behind much of what we continue to achieve with our apprentices
What skills do young people need to work at Dale Power Solutions?
I’m not looking for a set number of GCSEs or A levels at certain grades. Exam results only tell me a small part about a person. I want to find out about their employability – their integrity, interpersonal skills, passion for excellence, energy and self-motivation, potential growth, problem solving, teamwork, flexibility and commitment.
Technology and engineering is changing all the time and faster than ever before. In some ways, the apprentices we recruit today are more tech savvy than some existing employees.
Students tell us that careers advice from schools is either non-existent or ‘go to university’”
How could careers guidance be improved?
Students tell us that careers advice from schools is either non-existent or “go to university”. I have apprentices (some with 12 A* grades at GCSE) who were only advised to go to university, no alternatives were discussed.
Advice should be balanced and include apprenticeships, other academic study and getting a job, with options linked to careers paths so students can select the best route for them. Schools and businesses both want students to thrive using their individual talents. Businesses must take an interest and try and make a difference.
Read more from Dale Power Solutions:
Engineering apprenticeship: Hannah Magowan, Dale Power Solutions
Click to read Hannah’s story
Engineering apprenticeship: Matt Tindall, Dale Power Solutions
Click to read Matt’s story
Electrical apprenticeship: Natasha Pitts, Dale Power Solutions
Click to read Natasha’s story