Siemens in the UK has been awarded top marks for its apprenticeship scheme in all inspection categories by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).
According to Ofsted, the ‘outstanding’ grade applies to effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for learners, and apprenticeships.
The award reinforces Siemens’ decision to invest long-term in a pipeline of UK talent, where both academic achievement and practical application are required.
To date, more than 500 apprentices have completed their training successfully through the scheme, to become qualified in diverse vocations ranging from Rail Engineering Maintenance, to Wind Turbine Manufacture (Composite Engineering).
Despite Siemens having had apprenticeships in the UK since its founding in 1853, it is the recent investment of £10m in an advanced apprenticeship training centre in Newcastle in the power generation disciplines, and a 50/50 funding agreement between Siemens and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), for the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) in Northampton, that has helped bring Ofsted recognition of the world-class training open to apprentices.
The approaches to training taken by Siemens were highlighted by Ofsted. The full report credits practical problem-solving scenarios, such as setting up a mini factory to test prototype development as giving apprentices the chance to demonstrate “exceptional practical skills” and that they “excel in their academic studies”.
The outcomes for the learners themselves gets similar praise, “Apprentices develop and apply technical mathematics and computing skills extremely well. They make effective business presentations to critical audiences.”
It is because of these high expectations of the apprentices that many go on to senior roles within Siemens, a fact also noted by Ofsted, “The company expect their apprentices to succeed, progress into sustainable employment and become the managers of the future. This reflects the excellent outcomes for apprentices and their progression into promoted posts.”
Director of Human Resources at Siemens, Toby Peyton-Jones noted: “Siemens has been known for some time as a good employer for both graduates and apprentices. This Osfted report is a clear signal to young people planning to enter the workforce and their parents, that the apprenticeship route has come of age and is not a second class ticket.”