02 March 2021
GTG has helped hundreds of organisations, from family-owned businesses to large-scale employers, to train their next generation of apprentices. This Scottish Apprenticeship Week we hear from two of them on how GTG Edinburgh has helped to futureproof their business.
The maroon buses carrying passengers between Edinburgh and towns and villages across the Lothians have been a regular sight for decades, but who keeps their fleet running, far from the public eye on Princes Street?
Technicians, of course – from time-served veterans of the workshop, to keen young apprentices.
The cornerstone of Lothian Buses’ apprenticeship scheme, many budding technicians have passed under the guidance of training partner GTG Edinburgh since 2016.
And with this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week taking place under the theme of Business Backing Talent, Lothian Buses’ Engineering Director, Stevie More, told GTG how they want to continue that tradition of investing in automotive skills.
Stevie said: ‘Five years ago we turned to GTG to partner with us in delivering training for our apprenticeship programme at Lothian, providing our apprentices with high quality training and fantastic opportunities to help develop their skillset in a modern, purpose-built centre.
‘Over the years at Lothian, we have developed a wealth of expertise among our engineering team, and our investment in apprenticeships allows us to ensure the future sustainability of industry-leading vehicle maintenance.
‘GTG has been instrumental in helping us develop that talent by providing our young apprentices with the knowledge and skills to enter the world of full-time work.
‘We’re incredibly proud to see the growth and development of their skill sets and confidence in the workshop on a daily basis.’
West Lothian Council
Providing public services for more than 180,000 people requires a dedicated, multi-skilled workforce all year round — and in every sector, from cleaning the streets in the harshest weathers to helping the elderly brush up on their digital skills.
And local authority, West Lothian Council is trying to build just that, with a significant number of their workforce being made up of employees progressing through their apprenticeship schemes.
Jim Jack, Head of Operational Services for West Lothian Council, explains the reason behind their investment in apprenticeships as part of the services they provide.
Mr Jack said: ‘We’re expanding apprenticeship opportunities beyond the more traditional trades such as automotive, and into areas such as business administration and finance. We feel that apprenticeships offer candidates a genuine alternative to the more talked-about routes of continuing their education through college or university study.
‘What’s more, an apprentice gains real-life work experience and valuable industry knowledge as they work towards a professional qualification, and for us as an employer, we benefit by attracting talented young people into the workforce, which is a key part of our workforce development and succession plans.
‘Speaking as a former apprentice, I am delighted that many have progressed through our management structure into senior posts and are now training apprentices to succeed them.’
Julie Cushley, Head of Organisational Development for West Lothian Council, gives her insight into the relationship between the local authority and the GTG Edinburgh training centre at Newbridge.
She said: ‘We have always found working with GTG to be a really positive experience. Even in times when we have been hit by a last-minute urgent training request, our account manager at GTG, Elaine Forrest, has been truly professional, and over the years we have been able to develop a strong working relationship – even during COVID-restrictive times.
‘Our varied Modern Apprenticeship programme brings its own unique set of challenges. Fortunately, GTG has met our high expectations and we are seeing the rewards already through the development of our apprentices.’
Kenny Nicholson, Apprenticeship Operations Manager at GTG, said: ‘When you take on an apprentice you are essentially futureproofing your business. You are taking on the responsibility of nurturing them in their new career, or even an adult who is embarking on an apprenticeship at a later stage in their career, and in return they are much more likely to be loyal to your organisation in the long term.
‘What’s more, the new generation of young apprentices have so much to offer a business beyond the traditional technician’s role, bringing enhanced digital and IT skills to the job, for example in carrying out diagnostic checks.’
To find out more about our apprenticeship programmes, from automotive and engineering to business skills, visit the Apprenticeships section on our website.