Apprenticeship challenge for Pirate FM presenters

Pirate FMAs part of the celebrations for National Apprenticeship week, Pirate FM Breakfast hosts Neil and Tina have gone back to try their hands at an apprenticeship.  Tina visited Arcol UK Ltd, an engineering company and Neil worked at a hair and beauty salon, iNkfish.

Both businesses have recruited apprentices through Cornwall College Business and see it as a key part of their development.  Vidette Chivers, the owner of iNkfish said:  “The basis of our support for apprenticeships is our dedication to ‘in-house training’. We designate our top stylist to nurture, inspire and train our group of apprentices to the highest standard. The apprentices work alongside the stylists. They assist with everyday tasks and develop their skills as they go. This is a huge benefit to the salon and keeps things running seamlessly.”

Vidette added: “I have employed apprentices here at iNkfish for 27 years now and have enjoyed watching them as they develop their new found skills. I am proud of being part of their growth, professionally and as individuals.”

18 year old Michael Spenceley, from Truro, is currently undertaking an apprenticeship at iNkfish:  “Straight after school I decided to get into hairdressing. I initially started with just in-house training but it didn’t work out for me. I decided to do an apprenticeship so you can take a whole day away from the workplace and have a proper day of training. It’s also nice to work with other apprentices so you can bounce ideas off each other and you are all in the same boat.”

Neil Caddy, who is the Programme Controller and Breakfast Presenter at Pirate FM became Vidette’s latest apprentice, albeit just for an afternoon:  “I didn’t realise so much went into cutting hair, I’m normally in and out in five minutes. I had a go at washing hair and the procedure was quite technical. It’s also great to see the apprentices generate great rapport with their clients and you realise that they are picking up many other skills in the workplace such as customer service which are transferable.”

Neil added: “If I was going to retrain now it would probably be in IT because everything these days is computer based and I admit I am not very good at navigating my way around computers.”

Tina Bessel, from the Breakfast Programme on Pirate FM spent her afternoon at Arcol UK Ltd; their Managing Director is Mike Pritchard.  “We aim to help increase experience and self-confidence in a totally hands-on environment in which apprentices have to be able to communicate effectively in order to provide solutions. We encourage them to ask questions, and the nature of the work helps to develop their communication skills across departments and deliver real solutions for the business.  By taking the opportunity to offer motivated school leavers the chance to gain experience of a hands- on engineering environment whilst studying the subject, Arcol has become part of a win/win situation.  Both our apprentices are able to spend four days a week working with experienced engineers increasing their knowledge in a real engineering environment whilst earning a wage, and potentially training themselves into a job.”

Tina said: “I have had a fascinating time; it’s been great to see the apprentices enjoy what they do and learning a worldwide high tech skill; Arcol are really putting Cornwall on the map. The apprentices are so professional and switched on and they enjoy being in the work place.  My cousin became a pilot on the YTS scheme – but if I was going to retrain it would have be architecture.  I loved (and still do love) walking around cities and looking at buildings – seeing the history.  The great advantage of being an apprentice is being able to earn money and learn a skill, without incurring huge student loans.”

22 year old Tristan Boase, from Helston, is one of Arcol’s apprentices, he said: “I started my apprenticeship straight after college because I also wanted to get into engineering. I have really enjoyed it and I think it has been the best option because you are presented with real problems and challenges that you have to solve.”

Sally Foard, Head of Cornwall College Business said: “It was great to see Neil and Tina taking on the challenge.  We have a vast array of apprenticeships on offer at the moment, from hair and beauty to accountancy or engineering, each offering an amazing opportunity to earn while you learn.”