Does ‘Generation Z’ provide the perfect apprentices?

WHEN your company’s workload begins to pile up and you need an extra pair of hands on a project, there are a few avenues you can take.

You can hire a freelancer, get in touch with a contractor, or spend every waking moment working on things yourself – the latter by the way is not a great option.

Recently, though, more and more businesses are taking advantage of an underestimated option: apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses to gain productive, enthusiastic workers while also investing in developing skilled employees.

As well as having the financial benefit of low-staff costs, they provide a great source of energy and fresh ideas. The government is also in full support, as the Apprenticeship Levy helps businesses fund apprentices with the aim of supporting quality training with employers at the centre.

If you’re looking to hire an apprentice, Generation Z, or Gen Z, is your hunting ground; they make up the vast majority of apprenticeships candidates today. Don’t be fooled into thinking they spend all their time glued to their phones, though: Gen Z is a vein of untapped potential.

What is Gen Z?

People often lump everyone under thirty in a category called ‘Millennials’ but this isn’t technically correct.

Millennials are categorised as those born between 1981 and 1994, making them 22-37 years of age today. This makes Gen Z – those born after 1995 – the workforce of tomorrow, so it’s important you know who they are and what drives them.

The benefits of hiring a Gen Z apprentice

1. They’re tech savvy

Whereas Millennials grew up in the digital age, Gen Z’ers were born into it. And while it might be tempting for some to bellyache about them being glued to their smartphones, Gen Z’s technophilia comes with a useful side-effect: they can easily wrap their heads around new technology.

For industries that are heavily rooted in computing or digital technologies, Gen Z apprentices are able to integrate into their role effortlessly.

So, whereas Brian from Accounting may not like the new operating system, a Gen Z apprentice will learn it inside out.

2. They’re masters of multitasking

When kids have grown up using streaming a YouTube tutorial as they Facetime a friend while adding shopping to their virtual basket, is it any surprise that they are skilled at multitasking? Whether they are posting, commenting or swiping, ‘Gen Z’ers’ have adapted to using multiple platforms simultaneously.

This ingrained skill is adaptable to almost any work environment, meaning you’ll have no trouble putting this to good use. This can be as simple as taking detailed minutes in a meeting or as complex as cross-platform data entry.

3. They have a short attention span (yes, that’s a good thing)

Gen Z’ers are constantly absorbing information, often in the blink of an eye. Spending their youth surrounded by apps such as Snapchat and Instagram has made receiving constant updates the norm, which has ultimately stunted their attention spans.

This has, however, given Gen Z’ers an advantage when it comes to absorbing information. As they’re accustomed to receiving a barrage of updates, Gen Z’ers have a knack for processing information faster than other generations and are highly adaptable to change, meaning they can absorb the barrage of updates in Monday’s meeting even when no one else can.

4. They are entrepreneurial thinkers

Gen Z’ers have grown up in a world of innovation, full of developing technology and connected to every corner of the globe. They’ve seen what’s possible and want a piece of the action for themselves.

This has resulted in a generation of young adults who are starting their careers with an entrepreneurial head on their shoulders. They are full of ideas - use them before someone else does!

Take your business into the next generation

Gen Z has an advantage over older generations, simply due to how they have been raised in the digital age.

By being familiar with new technology, expert multitaskers and full of fresh ideas they are in a great position to become an asset to your business.

Plus, as they are quick at absorbing new information, they are ideal candidates for training courses to help them develop further.

Ryan Latham, senior marketing executive for 3B Training, has experienced firsthand how businesses can benefit from hiring a Gen Z apprentice.

He said: “As a former apprentice myself I am definitely on board with the system, it’s a great opportunity to get on the first step of your career ladder.

"We also have a Gen Z’er apprentice working under me in our marketing department and she has been highly beneficial. She is highly tech-savvy and has actually taught me a thing or two about newer social platforms.

"She can complete tasks almost twice as fast as I can and to a great standard, don’t write off the Gen Z generation!”


 

Welsh Welders Win Hat-Trick

  • Coleg Cambria, from North Wales have been crowned winners of the Weld Off 2016 for the third time
  • Hosted by Morris Site Machinery and partners Speedy Services the welders aged between 16-26 years took part in a live welding competition which was themed on ‘God Save the Queen’, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday

Students from Coleg Cambria have been crowned the best young welders in Britain for the third time at the sensational final of the national live welding competition, Weld Off 2016.

Four Coleg Cambria students from the North East Wales college took the top spot and prizes worth more than £3,000. Matthew Hughes, Gareth Phillips, Owen Fitzgibbon and Thomas Lavender wowed judges with their breath-taking replica of the Queen’s Royal Carriage, complete with gilded crown, ornate royal detailing and even a piece of red carpet inside which the Queen herself has stepped on.  

Morris Site Machinery, supplier of ArcGen Welding equipment and in association with Speedy, hosted the competition which required four finalist teams of students between the ages of 16- 26 years old from across the UK, to showcase their welding prowess. The competition comprised a Q&A round, a skills section and a creative test which challenged contestants to create an inspiring exhibition piece based on the theme of ‘God Save the Queen’.

The live competition hosted at Speedy’s National Distribution Centre in Tamworth, now in its third year, attracted some of the most talented welding students and apprentices from across the nation.

National business broadcaster, Steph McGovern, winner of ‘Young Engineer for Britain’ at just 19 years old, attended the competition as special guest, assisted the judges and provided moral support for all the contestants throughout the day.  

The national judging panel was made-up of welding specialists from across the industry including  Michael Scarrott from awarding association for industry qualifications, EAL, who was head judge; Richard Denholm, Sales Director and Welding Specialist from Morris Site Machinery, along with Mick Link from Speedy.

Phil Winnington, Managing Director at Morris Site Machinery, said: “This has been an outstanding year for the Weld-Off and it was a truly competitive atmosphere! Every year the bar is raised and we have been astounded by the level of creativity, quality and interpretation of the theme which celebrates Her Majesty at 90.

“British manufacturing is seeing a renaissance and we wanted a theme which would compliment this.  Our competition attracts and uncovers a wealth of talent and skills we have in the UK. This is something we wanted to champion and encourage more young people into engineering to ensure that Britain’s skills base and manufacturing heritage are retained as best as possible.

“Coleg Cambria continue to set the standard every year and we would like to congratulate them on their performance and achieving a hat-trick. We would also like to thank all the teams who entered and especially those who competed to make this year’s competition the best yet.”

The highly commended runners-up included apprentices from City of Wolverhampton College, who created a robust interpretation of London’s famous Tower Bridge; students from Training 2000 in Lancashire, who also took cues from the Royal Family and welded a Royal Carriage and the team from New College Durham who produced an afternoon tea setting complete with French Fancie cakes fit for the Queen and any garden party.

Jane Nugent, Marketing Director of Speedy Services, the UK’s leading tools, equipment and plant hire services company, said: “We were delighted to host the competition at our National Distribution Centre. Everyone was very impressed with the calibre and creativity of work.  The contestants’ work ethic, skill and passion really shone through and all 16 are a real credit to young people in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.

Weld Off 2016 competition sparks search to crown top young talent

Weld Off 2016, a competition to celebrate the skills of the UK’s top young welders and help them forge ahead with their careers, was launched today (12 January) by leading equipment manufacturer Morris Site Machinery.

The company, based in Four Ashes, Wolverhampton and supplier of ArcGen welder generators, is now seeking entries from promising welders aged 16 – 26 who are in college or at work.

Back for its third year, The Weld Off is set to celebrate some great British milestones in its 2016 competition, by challenging the UK’s young welding talent with the theme: God Save the Queen.

 From Her Majesty celebrating 90 years in May, The Prince’s Trust reaching its 40th anniversary - the same year that Punk arrived and the Sex Pistols recorded their eponymous No 1 hit - it’s a timely theme to fire up the imagination. Morris Site Machinery’s welding brand ArcGen, in conjunction with Speedy Services, EAL and KEMPPI are on the hunt for the UK’s top young welders to use their bright sparks to now translate this year’s theme ‘God Save the Queen’ into a piece of welded creativity.

The four teams who make the final will face a series of challenges to demonstrate their ability and knowledge with a Q&A and safety round, a welding skills section and a creative test on the theme ‘God Save the Queen’. At stake is a top prize of £1,000 for their welding department or workplace, plus £500 for each member of the winning team.

Phil Winnington, Managing Director at Morris Site Machinery, said: “This is a great opportunity for budding young welders to think around this very current theme and bring to life their own spin on it.  We’re expecting some great interpretations and fantastic entries to demonstrate all the talent out there. The UK welding industry is a competitive one and we want to help young people get ahead and enhance their skills and knowledge with this competition.”

The teams will have to work together to impress judges including Mick Link from Speedy Services, Head Judge Michael Scarrott from EAL and welding specialist Richard Denholm returning as a judge in his new role as Sales Director for Morris Site Machinery.

Jane Nugent, Marketing Director at Speedy Services, said: “Speedy are once again delighted to being a part of ‘The Weld Off’ and to help promote this unique competition to an even wider audience for 2016. The Weld Off is a fabulous opportunity for young apprentices and students to showcase their talents and creativity, whilst also helping them develop their careers in the welding industry.”

Michael Scarrott from EAL, said: “We are keen to encourage young people to learn skills and gain confidence that will help them be successful in careers in valuable industries such as welding. We would urge students either employed in industry or at college, and employers and tutors, to get a team together and enter Weld Off 2016 ahead of the closing date on 11 March.”

The competition will be judged in two stages. There is a paper-based/online entry for the first round and the competitive live Weld Off final will be held at Speedy’s National Distribution Centre in Centurion Park, Tamworth, on 11 May.

The deadline for entries is 11March. To download an entry form, please go to www.morrismachinery.co.uk/weld-off

RGB helping charity teach youngsters carpentry skills

The Bideford branch of RGB Building Supplies is donating £1,000 worth of building materials and tools to Bideford charity, Wings South West, to help them enhance the carpentry area at their business and training centre.

Wings South West works to give young people a future and hope. The charity supports a number of disadvantaged young people by not only running leisure activities to help build confidence, but by also helping them learn a skill, such as carpentry.

James Lewis, NEET Programme Manager at Wings South West, commented: “At Wings we work hard to develop positive relationships with young people to help them feel accepted for who they are and develop their confidence and self-esteem. This enables them to take the appropriate next steps, whether that be applying for a job, going to college, or learning new skills to make them more employable. We want to expand our woodwork area with additional tools and materials so that more young people can begin to learn a trade, and the £1,000 to spend at RGB enables us to do this. A big thank you to RGB for choosing to help us, it is greatly appreciated."

More information about Wings South West can be found by visiting www.wingscharity.com.

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