Involving the whole team in mentoring
Troup Bywaters + Anders are a partnership of consulting building services engineers with eight offices nationwide, employing 210 staff. A key business objective has always been to make a positive difference by giving young people opportunities in professional engineering.
What we did.
Apprentices are integrated within experienced teams.
By doing this, TB+A are tapping into a long-standing tradition, where the generation above encourages and supports those that are up and coming, and apprentices mentor those coming through.
All staff have a part to play in our multi-tiered mentoring scheme. Some key examples are:
- A structured induction.
- Fortnightly NVQ workshops, undertaken by our 2nd tier apprentices.
- Tutorials by partners applying theoretical knowledge to practical work.
- Attendance at CPDs to widen technical understanding.
- Training logs to measure their understanding of engineering design, overseen by mentors.
- 6-monthly performance reviews to monitor achievements and areas for development.
- College progress and performance assessments.
To maximise the retention and potential of our apprentices, an owner of the business has direct responsibility for apprentices helping them get used to the work environment and encourage dialogue at the highest level.
As each new intake arrives each year, they are mentored by the year 2 apprentices. This helps our year 2 apprentices develop strong leadership skills.
TB+A feel this is important as apprentices coming in to the business have a big transition from the school environment to the workplace. Having a mentor that is aligned and has gone through the process is invaluable to our new intake.
What we learned.
Since embedding our programme, we have achieved:
- 81% apprentice retention rate with 100% moving on to further education.
- 100% academic success rate, with all completing level 3 a year early.
Our scheme is an important differentiator directly leading to winning projects in the marketplace.
The scheme lowers the average salary of our people, further increasing competitiveness.