Plymouth Based Architectural Aluminium Company Nordic Installations Ltd has gone from strength to strength since it first opened its doors in 2007. Nordic specialises in the manufacture and installation of high quality commercial and domestic aluminium products and works alongside some of the South West’s largest construction companies on projects that have included Hospitality & Catering, Education, Retail and Health sectors. Some projects that you might recognise include the new shop frontage at Marsh Mills Retail Park, Gaia Spa, the University of Plymouth Performing Arts building and BMW.
We caught up with Jon Iles, Production Manager at Nordic, and Alex Cook, the Technical Coordinator at Nordic, to find out more about the business and its apprentices.
“Nordic first started as two men and a van so it is incredible to see its growth. We now employ over thirty people and work on major local area projects such as the refurbishment of Plymouth Pannier Market. Throughout our history, we’ve taken on many apprentices; all our installers were once apprentices in order to gain their NVQ qualifications.
“Hiring apprentices can be incredibly rewarding, as you watch them grow and develop both in terms of their skills and on a personal level. We aim to keep on our apprentices after they finish their qualification so some have now been here for 8 years upwards.
“Apprenticeships are very important to the industry, as they enable learners to train on the job from industry experts which means they pick up skills very quickly. Apprenticeships also allow you to train up the learners into your company values and ways of working.
“Skills Group has been helpful and supportive throughout the process of hiring apprentices and we have a good relationship with the team.
“My advice to other companies thinking of hiring an apprentice would be to take on a few if you can and ensure you have a substantial trial period – from 2 weeks to a month – to ensure you have time get to know the apprentices thoroughly.”
I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!
I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!
Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up
The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.
I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!