At Mitton Group, we are committed to the concept of apprenticeships as the responsible and intelligent way forward for our industry, bringing new people into the M&E business and ensuring they receive the best training on their road to qualification. Most of our very best engineers and many of our directors chose this route and have played an important role in growing the Mitton name and reputation over the years.
Here, one of our current apprentices, Harrison Whittaker, discusses why he became part of the Mitton Group family and what the apprenticeship opportunity has brought to him.
“I always wanted to have a trade. My Grandad was an electrician and my Dad a joiner, so it’s in the blood, I think. I went to Bradford College first and studied plumbing for two years, so I had a very good idea of what was involved in the job. One of my friends was a first year apprentice with Mitton Group and I knew I would get a very solid and reliable grounding in all aspects of the plumbing trade with the company, so I emailed with my CV, and two years later, here I am – with two years of experience as a bona fide apprentice behind me and some of the best training in the industry under my belt!
On the job and college based education
My first six weeks with the company took the shape of an induction to the business and to the job, with an introduction to other important elements like leadership skills, giving me the confidence to move forward. The combination of on-the-job learning and college-based education is very valuable, and an apprenticeship with Mitton means I had the opportunity to work closely with my mentor, seeing exactly how different jobs are done by the people who have been doing them for many years. Being able to ask all the questions and get detailed, relevant answers was very important to me.
A four year programme and valuable qualifications
My apprenticeship will run over four years in total. The first two years focus on hot and cold domestic and commercial plumbing, learning the basic skills then having the opportunity to expand on these in a practical environment. I then move on the more complex aspects including welding and other skills. By the end of my apprenticeship I will have a Level IV City & Guilds Plumbing qualification plus a qualification in welding.”
Harrison says he enjoys the work very much. Mitton’s national coverage across the UK and diversity of projects has given him vital experience, working in different geographical areas and testing his skills, learning all the time. And he still has the opportunity to follow Bradford Park Avenue Football Club as well as playing both cricket and football!
Real opportunities to upskill people
Mitton sees apprenticeships as the logical and practical way forward for the business. “There is a shortage of skilled people in our industry,” states Director Jonny Knowles, who himself followed the apprenticeship route with Mitton as a design engineer and now sits on the Board of Directors. “We believe in creating positive opportunities for school and college leavers, training the people we need and ensuring they have the balance of skills and expertise to play a role in our future growth.”