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Apprenticeships are key at Octink

Apprenticeships are key at Octink

MF-octink-minApprenticeships are high on the agenda for display specialist Octink, a company that puts a lot of emphasis on support for school and college leavers as they start out in their careers.

Always keen to provide young people with work experience and employability skills, and to develop staff, the company also backs local initiatives such as Spark!, which helps to prepare people for a working life and to enhance their employability through practical, accredited and inspiring work-related experiences.

Mike Freely, Managing Director at Octink, commented: “The skills shortage and what industry can do to help resolve it, has been the subject of much debate during recent months, and, as a company that pridesitself on being active in its support of both young people and its staff,we believe that everyone should have development plans and an apprenticeship is a great way to kick start them, while also bringing new talent and skills into the company.”

Recent examples of the encouragement Octink has provided for its staff to develop their skills, include its sponsorship of a school leaver who has just completed a signmaking apprenticeship, and an office junior, who showed such initiative that Octink had no hesitation in enrolling her as an apprentice to complete an NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration. And it’s encouragement is not just restricted to young people. Long-standing staff member Mike Bains is embarking on a higher apprenticeship in construction operations management. Mike has worked at Octink for 15 years, and, in this timeframe, he has been offered opportunities for development in nearly every area of the business.

He reported: “As a long term employee, I can honestly say that Octink puts people at the heart of its operation.  Since I started out in the sign workshop all those years ago, whenever I have shown interest or an aptitude for a certain area of the business the company has encouraged me to obtain qualifications in that area. The higher apprenticeship that I am just starting will really help my career to leap forward, with the option to extend it in 2016 to convert it to a full construction management degree.”

Mike Freely concludes: “We hope that our efforts to develop our staff and young people within our local community not only help them in their career paths, but also set a good example for all companies of our size. With more apprenticeship opportunities opening up in industry, hopefully, the skills shortage will start to resolve.”

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