GC Apprentice trio make the right connection
A Cheltenham-based electrical and gas engineering company is championing the value apprenticeships bring to young people and the business community, after having increased the number of apprentices it has hired to three in 2016.
Blu-Fish is a dedicated electrical contractor and gas engineer company, which provides a call-out and response service to landlords, letting agents and domestic customers.
It hired its first apprentice a few years ago and this year took on three apprentices to further develop the business with qualified and motivated staff: 17-year-old Electrical Apprentice Ben Sheppard from Parkend, 19-year-old Business Administration Apprentice Chloe Davis from Quedgeley, and 16-year-old Plumbing Apprentice Brad Allen from Cheltenham.
Mark Cliffe, Director at Blu-Fish, said: “We decided to hire three apprentices from Gloucestershire College to develop the business and bring engineers through to qualification.
“Our apprentices help a great deal by assisting our qualified engineers on two-handed jobs. The key benefit of hiring apprentices for us is staff training; they not only learn the trade but also how it works in our business. We hope to retain our apprentices after they qualify and I have even recommended GC apprenticeships to two other local businesses.”
Electrical Apprentice Ben chose to do an apprenticeship after hearing about the benefits from several family members. He is studying for his Level 2 Electrical Installation qualification at GC, alongside working at Blu-Fish.
He said: “I went to sixth form for a year and realised I really didn’t enjoy it, so decided to try an apprenticeship instead; some of my family employ apprentices and they recommended this route to me.
“Eventually I want to run my own business as a fully-qualified electrician and my apprenticeship is helping me achieve this by teaching me the theory behind wiring and enabling me to put this into practice. I’m lucky to get to so such a varied job and am always doing something different at Blu-Fish.
“I would recommend an apprenticeship as it’s a great way to learn and gives you a more realistic insight into the industry. It’s decent getting paid at the same time too!”
Day-to-day Administration Apprentice Chloe raises and books jobs in for the engineers, answers telephone queries and writes quotes for jobs, whilst studying for her BTEC Diploma in Business and Administration.
She said: “My apprenticeship is giving me valuable experience and skills for my aim of achieving a career in business administration. My favourite part so far has been completing the telephone course, as it gave me a lot more confidence on the phone.
“Gloucestershire College has been a great support and the lecturers are always there if you need to talk to them about any issues or queries.”
Plumbing Apprentice Brad always wanted to work in plumbing and started the Level 2 diploma course before getting his apprenticeship with Blu-Fish.
He said: “I have learnt a lot about how to fix and service boilers, and how heating systems work. It’s very hands-on and I get a lot of responsibility. Once I complete my apprenticeship, I hope to study for my gas qualification alongside continuing to work for Blu-Fish.
"The apprenticeship is great because it’s preparing me for work and opening up a lot of opportunities for the future.”
With over 20 vacancies available online every week, and even more employers on the lookout for enthusiastic and ambitious apprentices, there’s never been a better time to apply for an apprenticeship with Gloucestershire College.
All GC apprentices get help and support from a dedicated Training Coordinator every step of the way, and come out with great experience for their CVs, valuable qualifications and, often, permanent jobs.
View www.gcapprenticeships.co.uk to view the latest apprenticeship vacancies and to apply online.