Apprentices engineering their future at Alexander Battery Technologies

Feb 18, 2022 | Business

A group of young engineers have been given a fantastic opportunity to start their careers thanks to a partnership between East Durham College and local employer Alexander Battery Technologies, based in Peterlee.

Alexander Battery Technologies have been working alongside East Durham College to promote their apprenticeship vacancies with a view to recruiting and growing their future talent.

Mark Rutherford, Managing Director, said: “We decided to take on apprentices because we found it difficult to recruit the talent in the areas we needed. We decided to invest in the youth and talent in the local area and we are looking to bring that into Alexander’s.”

Alexander Battery Technologies worked with EDC Business Development Advisor Emma Norbury to develop the best route for recruiting the four apprentices for their company.  It was decided that ten potential apprentices would get the opportunity to showcase their skills through a recruitment open event at the employer’s premises, because the roles require a level of specialism.

Mark said: “The open day was really good – the thinking behind it was we didn’t really see any value in interviewing the candidates because they would just tell us how they performed in their exams at school. We were more interested in how they interacted with each other, and with other people within the business. We thought an open day would be a more relaxed environment where we could evaluate them and gain a better understanding of their capability.”

Alexander Battery Technologies recruited four apprentices as a result of their open day. Ben Groark joined the company’s quality department and the other three apprentices; Nicole Thompson, Ben Bedford, and Daniel Whitfield are working in the companies’ electronics department.

Mark is thrilled with his new apprentice cohort, stating: “My advice would be to definitely consider taking on apprentices, and definitely use East Durham College to do so! The ten candidates that came for our open day were all very, very good and we found it very difficult to select just four of them. We’ll definitely be using the college going forwards to bring in apprentices on a more regular basis.”

East Durham College offers a comprehensive, fully-managed apprenticeship service for employers. Employers using this service can expect to be matched with the right apprentices for their unique business needs; the college also recruits potential apprentice candidates looking to gain route into employment.

The managed apprenticeship service also offers extensive support to the employer including training support at the college, advice on funding, and regular contact between an advisor and the employer to ensure everything is going smoothly.