Once considered an option solely for people under 25, apprenticeships are increasingly used for people of all ages looking to expand their skills or re-train.
Essex & Suffolk Water is giving people, including some who already have decades of workplace experience, a chance to continue their professional development by using apprenticeship programmes that allow them to continue working alongside their studies.
Currently, 26 Essex & Suffolk Water employees are undertaking Level 3 Apprenticeships relating to Water Engineering, with others taking apprenticeship programmes in subjects as wide ranging as Customer Service, Business Administration and Team Leading.
Essex & Suffolk Water is part of the Northumbrian Water Group, which currently has more than 200 employees in total taking part in apprenticeship programmes.
Production Operator Aron Potter is working towards a Level 3 Diploma in Water Engineering - Water Supply as a route into a career change within the company. After nine years working in litigation, he obtained a permanent role in the Water Supply team and has embarked on his Apprenticeship programme within that position.
He said: "Taking on an Apprenticeship programme has been a fantastic way to get into what is effectively my second career with Northumbrian Water. The tutors come into our sites to see us and I′ve been moving around different parts of the business, learning about the different types of water extraction, from reservoirs to rivers and bore holes, and how we then treat and deliver that water to our customers at the highest possible standards, all while expanding my theoretical knowledge."
Training Contracts Manager Tracey Greener said: "Apprenticeships are Industry recognised learning programmes. They are for people of all ages, and not just those starting out on a career.
They are a fantastic opportunity to expand or update knowledge relating to an existing career, or for someone looking to retrain.
"Also, you can use an Apprenticeship programme to gain many different levels of qualification, up to and including Masters, and they are a fantastic option for people who simply are not inclined towards a purely academic route, so they really are no longer just something for school leavers."
To find out more about careers at Northumbrian Water, visit www.eswater.co.uk/careers.