Apprentice Trailblazers

This week is National Apprenticeship week and is a chance to raise awareness and promote vocational career paths and how vital they are to businesses.

Since the launch of the apprenticeship scheme in 1994, The Government has been committed to developing vocational skills and increasing the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. Apprenticeship uptake has been steadily growing in popularity as an alternative to the traditional path through University education. As part of this commitment, in 2016 the Government established the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE).  It aims to ensure high-quality apprenticeship standards and that apprentices are being given the right skills for their chosen career.

One of TEP’s success stories is Adam Davies, who joined the company in 2014 as an ICT apprentice from St Helens College in Merseyside. Adam has shown dedication and resilience, and now occupies the role of Senior Technician. Hoping to repeat the process and follow in his footsteps TEP decided to take on another apprentice, Alex Fisher. TEP provides real-life work experience that sits alongside a structured programme provided by the IFATE.

ICT Associate Director Mike Hodgkinson says: “Having an apprentice provides us with an excellent resource, they come to the role with fresh ideas and are keen to make a mark on the industry.”

TEP doesn’t just take on apprentices but works with the IFATE to help set the content for them as well. TEP’s Associate Director for Arboriculture and Chartered Arboriculturist Jonathan Smith was recently invited to attend a Trailblazing Workshop to help draft content for the Level 4 and Level 6 Apprenticeship Standards for the role of Arboriculturist. Facilitated by the IFATE, a range of industry representatives came together over two days to contribute their expertise to define the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for each standard and against which apprentices would eventually be assessed.

IFATE Apprenticeship Trailblazers – Arboriculture Workshop Group

TEP’s Directors and Associate Directors also form part of the Landscape Apprenticeships Trailblazer Employer Group, which was formed in 2016.  The Trailblazer group for The Landscape Institute has agreed to broaden its scope to include a wider range of landscape professionals, and the likelihood is that they will develop more routes to membership which also align with apprenticeships.

Principal Quality and Training Manager, Jenni Hansen says: “I am proud to be a part of an organisation that values Apprenticeships. Apprentices bring fresh ideas and new skills sets to TEP and the opportunity to grow and develop our in-house talent pool is exciting. It also allows us to be able to consider different options when thinking about how we recruit in the future. Being a part of the Trailblazer groups also means that we are able to share our knowledge, experience and best practice to be able to create and tailor apprenticeships for the future generation and the needs of our industry.”

TEP is proud to be contributing to the development of young minds and will continue to take on apprentices and support improvements within the scheme.

Find out more at