Nationwide Platforms focuses on apprenticeships

Nationwide Platforms, the UK’s largest access rental company, is marking National Apprenticeship Week (5 - 11 February) by highlighting the range of apprenticeships it offers from depot-based engineers to office-based accountants, and sharing first hand experiences of some of those taking part.

An example is 23-year-old Connor Ryan, who has recently started his Finance Apprenticeship, based at Nationwide Platforms’ head office in Lutterworth. Connor previously studied Business at Rugby College, but was disappointed by the lack of finance modules; a topic he’s always been interested in from his mother’s role handling the finances for his parents’ roofing business. He went online to explore further education options, and came across the opportunity to complete Nationwide Platforms’ Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship Level 3 with Kaplan.

 Connor Ryan - Nationwide Platforms Connor Ryan, Nationwide Platforms.

With one out of the five exams completed, Connor is looking forward to tackling the rest to complete the course by December 2024, and starting a full time role in the management accounting team.

“I’m really enjoying the course so far, and glad I opted for a large company just for the level of support they’ve been able to offer. I have a dedicated mentor, Jessica, who I have daily contact with, and there are about 25 people in the finance department who have all been more than happy to help when I’ve needed it.

“I’m learning so much, especially when we’ve been covering financial reporting because it’s given me so much insight into the business as a whole. I also appreciated the flexibility I’ve been given; the course itself is all online and I’ve been given the option to work from home too which is great.”

Engineering success 

Twenty seven year old Ryan Mackie, and 26 year old Jak Liddell both finished engineering apprenticeships at the end of 2023, and are settling into full time Service Engineer roles at Nationwide Platforms depots in Glasgow.

After leaving school at 16, Jak worked at a variety of places from clubs to bowling alleys, unsure of what he wanted to do until his uncle recommended applying for a Nationwide Platforms apprenticeship. As someone who had long enjoyed fiddling with car engines, the Plant Mechanics Apprenticeship proved a perfect fit.

“It’s been a fantastic experience; from working on hydraulic systems to electrical boards, we really have been set up with a skill for life – they’ve even proven useful outside of work, enabling me to fix up my motorbike. I feel like the sky is the limit with Nationwide Platforms.”

Nationwide Platforms' Apprentice Ryan Mackie Nationwide Platforms’ Apprentice Ryan Mackie has been highly commended at the CPA awards 2023

Ryan has been certain he wanted to be a qualified engineer since he got the opportunity to dabble in mechanical engineering during his Highers. He went on to study a HNC in Mechanical Engineering, but struggled to find a job afterwards working in warehouses and as a delivery driver while hunting for an opportunity that could teach him a trade.

Ryan enrolled on the same course, which involved them spending weeks at a time learning at the National Construction College in Norfolk, eight hours from home on the outskirts of Glasgow for the three years while they completed the Level 2 and Level 3 NVQ.

“I like driving, so the distance didn’t bother me”, Ryan commented. “It has been great, plain sailing with the amount of support from Nationwide Platforms. The company handled things like travel expenses to the college which was one less thing to stress about. We had mentors at the depot who have been so helpful in not only teaching us everything they know, but also tailoring our workload around the course assessments.”

“The people are one of my favourite things about Nationwide Platforms”, Jak added. “I really enjoy having a great team around me when we’re coming up with solutions together.”

Ryan’s hard work saw him highly commended at the recent Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) Stars of the Future Awards in the Plant Technician of the Year category in 2023, but he’s looking forward to achieving more in his career.

“I’m always looking to expand my knowledge and feel like there’s plenty of opportunities to do that with Nationwide Platforms.”

Nationwide opportunities 

Charlie Stanley, HR Director at Nationwide Platforms said, “The apprenticeship programmes continue to be an important aspect of the learning and development goals of the business and its commitment to hire both fresh talent and upskill the current workforce. Most apprentices progress to other roles in the business and continue to thrive and be rewarded for their commitment and long service in many instances. Nationwide Platforms continues to see apprentices as a vital element in supporting the productivity and future growth of the business and meeting the needs of our customers.”

Nationwide Platforms is continually seeking new talent to join its workforce as well as investing in current employees.

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