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Peterson's National Apprenticeship Week - Interview with Stuart White, Peterson

Peterson's National Apprenticeship Week - Interview with Stuart White, Peterson

I'm here on the key side at Torry Marine base on the final day of national apprenticeship week which has been a fantastic collaboration between Peterson and SDS and a number of other organisations.

I'm here today with Stuart White a director at Peterson and Andrew Mutch one of the apprentices from 80/20 a Peterson Group Company.

Stewart, tell me a little bit about why Peterson felt this was a great event to collaborate with Skills Development Scotland on.

Sure, our experience of working with apprentices over the years has been extremely successful. It continues to be a strong part of our history our present and our future and we're very keen to support it and encourage more young people into the industry. I mean, the future workforce is such an integral part of the transition going forward, how important are apprenticeships to building that? We need people who are going to bring new ideas to the company, people with different backgrounds and the breadth of our business now means that we can give apprentices a really great experience across a wide range of disciplines. What you see here on the keyside is only one part of what we do as an organisation.

That's very true. There's a lot of other roles in the company. That's maybe something you can tell us a bit more about Andrew. How have you found your apprenticeship so far?

Yeah, so we've had a really busy week. I went to a few schools, spoke about my apprenticeship, how I found it, mentioned that it was a great alternative to University and College you're getting on-the-job experience, earning a qualification and of course a wage with that, which I feel a lot of school kids maybe don't really know about or more so that the parents don't know that a great opportunity like this exists.

I think that's probably true. Do you think the hands-on experience that you've had as an apprentice and certainly the experience you've had in bringing on other apprentices this week is an important part of learning and should be looked at as an alternative to University?

Absolutely. I mean, this is just the start of a whole career ahead of me. I've got a lot to look forward to, a lot to just gain, I'm working with professionals everyday, I'm learning off of them. This is a great foundation for a career.

How successful has your apprenticeship program been today?

Well, we've seen a few of the apprentices today as we've gone round, one in our freight management team who came in as an apprentice in 2013 and has worked across a number of the different departments and is now found himself in a senior role in our freight management team. We also have Ryan who's here today one of our more recent apprentices and Ryan again has been around all the different departments in the organisation and found his home now as well on our health and safety team. So, that's one of the things that's really important for us, when you come in as a 16, 17 or 18 year old you don't really know what you want to do so, giving them a structured program and an opportunity to see a lot of different things usually means that everybody finds the right home for them the skills and the experience that they want to get and it's worked out really well for us as well.

That's fantastic to hear. I know that Skills Development Scotland have put a lot of work and effort into the International Apprenticeship week this year and you know, thank you for coming on board with them. What advice would you give to other employers that are thinking about doing a collaboration with them for this type of event?

Absolutely embrace it, It's great. You get the opportunity to explain exactly what your company does, the types of skills that you need, you get to engage with young people who maybe have a certain perception of what the industry is all about. It's very different and we need new people to come in and challenge the current ways of working and bring new thinking to us, so it's a great opportunity to identify that new young talent for the future and hopefully get a chance to showcase all the different things that your company can bring to them.

Well, thank you very much for taking part in what has been a great initiative. I think two hundred pupils over the course of the week. Is that correct?

Yeah that the guys have done a really good job and Andrew and Bradley in the team have been out around the schools speaking to kids telling them all about their apprenticeship and the opportunities and we’re so engaged and committed to this that we're going to be announcing another raft of apprenticeships coming up soon. We've got four committed and we hope to do more over the course of the year.

And where would people find out information if they were interested?

You can contact Peterson through our website, there are careers and vacancies always on there. Just look us up in the phonebook and give us a phone, find us that way as well.

Published: 31-03-2020

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