Director and current executive degree apprentice, David Clarkson, highlights the value that Degree Apprenticeships bring to both employers and employees.
Hurstwood Environmental Consulting has offices in Liverpool and Bolton and employs 20 staff. They provide a variety of services including electrical and mechanical design, management, and consultancy. Hurstwood's philosophy for projects is to work harmoniously with the client and the design and construction teams to ensure a successfully completed project, on time, to budget and in compliance with the client's requirements. Core to their design approach is the use of renewable and sustainable energy, whilst maintaining a practical cost-effective solution.
Director and current executive degree apprentice David Clarkson knows first-hand the value they bring. David who recently began his studies on the Business Administration (Executive) programme said: “As my role has developed and changed, I wanted to get a better understanding and grasp of how to effectively run a business and manage teams.”
David became aware of our offer as he already had several apprentices studying on the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) BEng Building Services & Sustainable Engineering Degree Apprenticeship. After enquiring directly for a suitable course, he enrolled.
Talking about his experience, David commented: "After 24 years of work and 15 years since I was last in a formal learning environment it makes a refreshing change to be focusing on my own development for the betterment of not only me but also my business. The lecturers I have had so far are engaging, informed and a pleasure to be in the room with."
David has already begun to see changes in the workplace as the younger degree apprentices initiated the sharing of new knowledge with older employees. The inquisitive nature of the apprentices ensures the older engineers often take more time to re-evaluate what and why they are doing a task in a particular manner. This has now led to improvements in the workplace.
"After 24 years of work and 15 years since I was last in a formal learning environment it makes a refreshing change to be focusing on my own development for the betterment of not only me but also my business. "— David Clarkson, Director at Hurstwood Environmental Consulting
David said: “We as a business, believe in the development of the next generation and the ideas that younger engineers bring to the table keeps the old guard on their toes. We want our business to continue on for many years to come and hope that in time one or more of our apprentices will hold directorships with us or at other practices.”
The business values staff improvement and through their development it has seen staff become inquisitive, informed team members with useful industry specific qualifications through Degree Apprenticeships. This in turn makes the team and business stronger with confident young engineers that are engaged with their work and subject. The outlook being that they will become future leaders ensuring the longevity of the business.
Reflecting on his experiences with the University, David said: “Working with the team at UCLan is always a pleasure. Having degree apprentices within the workplace assists in all levels of personal and professional development whilst at the same time safeguarding our own business’ future, ensuring younger, suitably qualified engineers are ready to step into future managerial roles as they become available.”