Angus Training Group Seeing Positive Signs for Engineering Sector
5 September 2011
has worked at Angus Training Group (ATG) since 1978 and has
witnessed the effects of boom periods and recessions in that
This year the
Arbroath firm has 45 new apprentices on its books, all of whom have
secured full-time employment with engineering firms. Just two years
ago, the company started its training programme with only five
youngsters and that rose to just 15 by the end of the year.
Mr Swankie said
the turnaround was indicative of an upsurge in the engineering
sector and showed that more school leavers were now looking to go
straight into employment rather than university or college.
been problems with the numbers coming to do modern apprenticeships
over the last couple of years and it is great to see those now
going up," he said."We have 140 in total, spread out over
the four-year period of their apprenticeship, but 45 that are
starting out their first year with us."We are always
governed by how the industry is performing and obviously the number
of apprentices we have in is linked to the amount of jobs that are
applications from potential apprentices and then matches them up
with employers. The company then trains the youngsters in basic
engineering skills for a full year, before they go on for further
training at college and finally a year of on-the-job learning.
Mr Swankie, who
has been the director of ATG since 2007, said each year's intake is
closely bonded to how the engineering sector is performing."You
can see the peaks and troughs over the years," he said. "This year
is looking good but two years ago was the worst year that we have
ever had." "When you are governed by the industry it is
difficult to predict what the next year will bring, but we are
certainly very pleased with the numbers we have had in this
year."It seems to be a case that a lot of them are now
shying away from being dumped into college courses or going to
university, when they can go straight to work."
ATG has around
40 companies on its books and this year placed apprentices with new
client firms including Atlas Copco, David Ritchie (Implements) Ltd,
Don & Low Ltd, Finesse Control Systems Ltd, Intervention
Rentals, JD Cooling Systems Ltd, National Oilwell Varco Portable
Power (Altens) and Ross & Bonnyman Ltd.
Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance
(SEMTA) oversees modern apprenticeships in engineering and awards
qualifications. To reach the level required, each trainee is given
thorough and intensive training in the basic engineering skills.
The training follows the exacting standards laid down by SEMTA and
on successful completion an apprentice will gain a Level II
Scottish Vocational Qualification.
ATG held its
annual awards ceremony last month, recognising the achievements of
the last group of trainees before their return to employers. The
awards were sponsored by Arbroath Rotary and the Arbroath Guildry
and saw Kevin Davidson of National Oilwell Varco voted Apprentice
of the Year.