“We’ve invested in this framework as we wanted to understand where we were on our apprenticeship journey”, said Naomi Barringer, Head of Human Resources at TRL. “We are looking to increase our apprenticeship opportunities for those starting out on their career journeys, and we also want to strengthen our management capability by growing our own talent and upskilling our existing professional cadre. The feedback we have received on this IIP framework will inform our future training programme. We are fully committed to offering and delivering successful outcomes for our apprentices and the organisation”.
TRL have 7 men and 7 women currently undertaking formal apprenticeships. Some apprentices are at the start of their careers, and have chosen to learn on the job. Others are seasoned technical experts who have moved into new roles as professional managers. This cadre are following the management apprenticeship and will gain a formally recognised professional management qualification to evidence their competence.
To achieve accreditation from IIP, the relationships at work must feel collaborative; apprentices have to be seen to be involved with the day-to-day of company life; and there needs to be consistent evidence that the apprentices are supported to thrive.
One of TRL’s early careers apprentices, Laura Broadbent, is enthusiastic about her experience of the framework. She joined TRL four months ago as Admin Assistant in the Investigations team. “I didn’t want to go to University. This apprenticeship is an ideal mix of real-world experience, and theoretical classroom work. Being at TRL gives me the chance to understand the workplace environment, make friends, discover what I like doing, to test what I’ve learned, find out what I’m good at, earn money and get a qualification all at once. And with the support of TRL there’s no reason I couldn’t progress to the next level of apprenticeship and end up with an Open University Degree.”
For others on the management apprenticeship at TRL, who perceived their strength only as technical competence, this apprenticeship has taken them on a journey of personal discovery and growth, developing their management skills and making them better leaders and communicators. Sally Panayiotou, who leads a 70 strong team, is training alongside her management team. She said “Participating in this apprentice framework means my management team now balance their management responsibilities with their technical work. TRL’s investment into upskilling our staff as professional managers highlights the fact that we recognise each of these responsibilities as having equal importance”.
TRL has been offering apprenticeships since 2012. Achieving Silver accreditation isn’t the objective, as the apprentice framework is a continual improvement process for the employer, but receiving the Silver award is a mark of success for TRL.
Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate TRL. Being accredited with We invest in apprentices is a remarkable effort for any organisation, and places TRL in fine company with a host of organisations that understand the value of delivering high quality apprenticeships.”
Laura tells us why she chose to start her career with an apprenticeship:
Sally talks about benefits of investing equally in technical and professional management skills: