We know apprenticeships provide skills in the employment and life skills within the workplace, but we feel the personal development of an apprentice is an essential factor of their experience.
Therefore, IPS offer the chance to visit Bowles Rocks Learning Development Centre for a 4-day personal development programme, BAE Systems decided to send their full cohort of Engineering Apprentices to take part this April.
The overall aim of the event is to support Apprentices with the development of their ‘Personal Learning and Thinking skills.’
- Creative Thinking
- Independent enquiry
- Reflective Learning
- Effective participation
The first activity was a welcome introduction, the apprentices work for the same company and work together within the IPS workshop, but this was time for them to talk about their aims and goals for the week and their future with each other. They recorded evidence throughout the week of their learning to reflect and use within their personal logs.
There were numerous activities over the four days that helped the team to bond, work together, give proactive constructive criticism and support each other.
One of these activities was the Spider’s Web. A group activity to illustrate the value of experiential learning. The group had to help each other get through a web of string, not touching the sides and one hole being used once, so a lot of planning and team working was involved in this activity.
Apprentice Chloe spoke of the experience “all of the team members had to get through the web within a time limit and only to use one hole once and not touching the sides. The team had to work together, help people over and plan how we were going to do it, and this meant listening to each other and discussing opinions and views.”
Apprentice Billie added, “Although we didn’t pass the activity in the time frame we had, we still learned a lot from the activity, we worked well together as a team, but we knew we had to improve our planning.”
As well as building a raft, completing the leap of faith, Jacobs ladder and taking part in an expedition on foot throughout the week, the team supported each other in rock climbing.
The Rock climbing activity provided the apprentices the chance to set personal goals and develop coaching skills, providing constructive support for others. The rock climbing activity had a significant effect on one of the apprentices, Tommy, who has a fear of heights and was not looking forward to the challenge. With the help and encouragement of his team, Tommy managed three climbs on the day, and the team excelled in team building.
“I didn’t think I was going to go ahead with the rock climbing activity and I was dreading it, but with the encouragement of the team I achieved three climbs and enjoyed it. I’m pleased with myself for doing it and don’t think I would have done it without the team’s help. “
On the last day, the team had a group discussion using the evidence from the full programme challenges to commit to the skills and behaviours they will ‘STOP, START & CONTINUE” to support their apprenticeship and the benefits of the programme.
We are pleased to say the full team completed and achieved their goals and on their last day they had a final celebration and were presented with their certificates.
We would like to say well done to the team and we wish you all the best throughout your Engineering Apprenticeship.