Fuelling progress: Vital Energi's commitment to employee development

Vital Energi based in Blackburn was established in 2000 and has over 700 hundred employees.

As market leaders in renewable and sustainable energy products and services, Vital Energi prioritises staff development and education helping them to design flexible, resilient and future-proofed energy schemes across the UK.

Currently, three employees are enrolled on the University of Central Lancashire Quantity Surveying Degree Apprenticeship, with another graduating in 2023. Recognising the importance of upskilling, the company decided Degree Apprenticeships would be a natural progression from the Level 3 Apprenticeship they already have in place.

Commercial Manager Alex Durkin, who previously studied Quantity Surveying part-time at the University, experienced the benefits of working with the University first-hand and now champions the value Degree Apprenticeships bring to the organisation. Alex said: “Our plan is just to keep rolling them out. We see it as a benefit to the business, as any accreditations look good, and we recognise that it's a good opportunity to put our younger people through a programme that allows them to progress in their careers.”

Recent degree apprentice graduate Daniel Valentine had already been working for the company for over a year before he considered a Degree Apprenticeship with the University of Central Lancashire. Daniel said: “Initially university wasn't on the cards for me, but they left the option open, and after 18 months I reconsidered.”

"Even while I was still on the course, I’ve been responsible for overseeing other apprentices. It’s a very full circle moment, as I'm now mentoring an apprentice as Alex Durkin mentored me."

Daniel Valentine, degree apprentice graduate at Vital Energi

Daniel who graduated with a First in July 2023 commented on his achievement. “When I found out at the end of it that I’d got a First, I couldn't have been prouder. As awful as it sounds, it was one of the first times I'd ever felt like that about myself academically. It gave me the sense that I'd achieved something, and it’s something that I'm going to use for the rest of my career.”

Daniel also provides value as a mentor to his work colleagues. “Even while I was still on the course, I’ve been responsible for overseeing other apprentices. It’s a very full circle moment, as I'm now mentoring an apprentice as Alex Durkin mentored me.”

Summing up his journey, Daniel said: “It doesn't feel like five years ago that I started the course. Looking back at what I was like in college, I couldn't think of anything worse than going to university, so to finish it and really enjoy the five years I was there, that was a really good experience.”

Alex also provides some useful advice for any business or individual considering a Degree Apprenticeship. Alex said: “I think a Degree Apprenticeship is really worthwhile. It allows the apprentices to become familiar with the career they’re choosing, and it helps them to understand the business and our objectives. Taking them through the apprenticeship alongside doing the job itself, I think that's the best way for someone to come up through the industry.”

"I think a Degree Apprenticeship is really worthwhile. It allows the apprentices to become familiar with the career they’re choosing, and it helps them to understand the business and our objectives."

c, Commercial Manager at Vital Energi

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