34 apprentices later and Scorpion are still passionate about supporting the next generation.

Scorpion Red Power is an engineering business in Ripley, which manufactures its own brand of performance exhausts which they distribute worldwide. They are currently supporting a social media marketing apprentice to complete his qualification as well as teaching him all about the business and the sector that they are passionate about.

We spoke to Alan Carrier, the operations manager at Scorpion about hiring an apprentice and the benefits they have to his workforce.

“It was about 12 years ago that we decided to try hiring apprentices and to see how it could work for us. It was a good thing to look at, to support younger people coming into the industry.

The first batch of three engineering apprentices worked really well for us. They were a credit to the company. They have now gone on to different environments after working for us for 3 years after their apprenticeship, it was a great stepping stone for them. It changed our minds about hiring younger people and developing them within the business, and we have carried on since. We have had apprentices in all areas of the business, marketing, purchasing, sales, and social digital media marketing and each time it’s proven good for the business.”

We have worked with Chesterfield College from the beginning when hiring apprentices.

We initially just put the feelers out there, and we got in contact with the head of business development, James Lund. He’s my contact going forward, it’s easy. I ask him for an ‘x’ amount of apprentices, he sends through their CVs, and we then choose, interview and select who we want to hire.

We have found if you employ a welder, for example, they will just do the welding role. If you employ an apprentice they learn other aspects of the business. They become a lot more involved in the business and become a credit to the business. The skill level that they get at college and here allows them to go into multiple industries. We do train them so that they can stay with us, usually, they end up staying for about 3 years after their apprenticeship.

Everyone we hire we want them to stay and develop with the business and also progress within our business.

Preferably into development roles and technical roles within the business. However, realistically people do move on.

From our experience, apprentices are mouldable to your business which is great, you also have to teach them to come to work and have that aspect of it too. A lot of people think it is just cheap labour, employ them and get rid of them at the end of their qualification but that is not the way it works for us. We want to develop a very good employee.

We’ve had 34 apprentices and 6 are still with us now. It’s a great environment for those who have a genuine interest in the industry.”

Find out more about the range of courses and apprenticeships available at Chesterfield College.