The important role of apprenticeships

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Employers anticipate a big disruption in workers’ skills over the next five years that could threaten business transformation unless they invest in strategies to help develop the workforce. Already, many roles connected to Supply Chain and Logistics are going unfilled. Investing in an apprenticeship scheme can be an effective way for businesses to grow talent and prevent skills gaps. Today, however, three in five would-be apprentices do not pursue them because they cannot find one. Joloda Hydraroll has run a dedicated apprenticeship programme for more than 10 years, which it says has contributed to business growth and the development of essential new skills.

Joloda Hydraroll is a leading provider of automated and manual trailer loading and unloading solutions, which businesses around the world use to help streamline their logistics operations. The company is headquartered in Liverpool and manufactures its solutions at the production facility in Anglesey, North Wales. Since it was founded in 1962, Joloda Hydraroll has manufactured and installed more than half a million loading systems. In 2023, it reported turnover approaching £50 million, with just under 300 employees across offices in the UK, Europe, America, South America, and Asia.

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According to Luke Worsley, Electrical Workshop Manager at Joloda Hydraroll: “Our business’s continued growth and future success rely on the talent we nurture, which is why we’ve made significant investments in our apprenticeship programme.”

Joloda Hydraroll offers a range of apprenticeships, from mechanical engineering to electrical installations, providing young people with opportunities to advance in their chosen careers. “Since launching our apprenticeship scheme in 2012,” explained Luke, “we have mentored and trained more than 20 people. We have been able to demonstrate and learn how the scheme works for us, and this year, we are looking to recruit between five and 10 new apprentices.”

Currently, there are eight apprentices training with Joloda Hydraroll and studying at local colleges in Liverpool and Anglesey. Their apprenticeships range from NVQ levels 1, 2 and 3 to HNC.

“In recent years, we have taken on more apprentices and restructured the training schedule to support all-round, multi-skilled engineers who have a taste of everything,” said Luke. “This has added more variety to their roles, and many of our apprentices have chosen to stay with us after completing their qualifications. We want our homegrown talent to remain with Joloda Hydraroll and be the future of the business.”

Josh McGuinness is in his third year of completing a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machinist apprenticeship with Joloda Hydraroll.

Josh explains: “On a day-to-day basis, I am learning to operate the CNC machines. This means I operate machines controlled by a computer to produce 3D materials. It’s a creative role that demands precision and attention to detail, involving the process of taking a concept all the way to its fully physical form.

“I have a mentor who has supported me through every step of my apprenticeship so far, and I have also had the opportunity to attend several additional courses that have helped to broaden my experience and role. Although the job itself can be challenging, an apprenticeship provides a supportive working environment for tackling difficult tasks.”

When asked about his future career plans, Josh said: “At Joloda Hydraroll, I’ve had open conversations about my potential career path after completing my CNC Machinist Apprenticeship. It’s very promising to know that there are opportunities to further my learning and development here.”

For others considering an apprenticeship, Josh has the following advice: “It isn’t easy to find an apprenticeship, but I would definitely recommend you try. Learning on the job is the best way, in my opinion, and allows you to work with people with up-to-the-minute knowledge and skills.”

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Joloda Hydraroll’s apprenticeship programme is one of several investments into training. In 2023, Joloda Hydraroll UK delivered 4,800 training hours, with all employees receiving at least 20 hours each.

Joloda Hydraroll currently has four open vacancies for apprenticeships in Controls and Mechanical Engineering in Anglesey and Liverpool.

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Author: Edward Hardy