CELEBRATING NATIONAL CAREERS WEEK – TODAY’S APPRENTICES SHOWCASE THEIR SKILLS TO TOMORROW’S TALENT
Experience, youth and eagerness to learn was in abundance this week at HNS Signs in Birmingham who opened their doors to The Timken Centre, a vocational training centre and social enterprise in Wolverhampton to share their skills in the signage industry.
To celebrate their current apprenticeship programme and National Careers Week, HNS Signs welcomed eight young individuals from The Timken Centre to provide ‘hands-on’ experience to support their ambition to gain access to further education, apprenticeships or employment.
Current sign writer apprentice Macaulay Jenkinson, 18, showcased his skills to the group and led the signwriting workshop with a little apprehension and said: “It was a little bit scary if I’m honest, as I am still learning myself and all eyes are on me to do it right.”
Michelle Henry, Managing Director at HNS adds: “Working with young people and social enterprises like The Timkens Centre is really an honour and a great opportunity to teach a ‘dying art’ to more people and get them excited in my trade.
“Traditional signwriting and other forms of our trade are very much in demand and there is a significant skills shortage out there, which is exactly why we have taken on apprentices here at HNS Signs.
“Today, has been a real challenge having eight additional people in our unit, especially for Macaulay who took the lead to deliver the workshop, and I’m glad to be part of the project with The Timken Centre, as it was only just over three years ago I was working with The Prince’s Trust to gain funds for my business and learning new skills to get ahead.”
The Timken Centre is currently working with Wolverhampton Homes as part of their Decent Homes programme to provide construction and trade skills to their students. Andy Morris, Timken Centre Manager and director of applied learning established the centre over 12 years ago and relies on partnerships with businesses like HNS Signs and local organisations to make a difference to people who disadvantages and the furthest away from the job market.
Andy adds: “Today has been a huge success for the young people we brought to HNS and it is people like Michelle who have faith in others that makes the difference. For our young people to meet others their own age too in a real working environment and get the opportunity to actually get their hands dirty and do a little bit of signwriting is priceless.”
HNS currently employs two apprentices, Macaulay Jenkinson, 18, and Callum Harris, 17 who both chose a vocational career path over an academic route to gain experience, skills and qualifications ‘on the job’.