One year after completing his apprenticeship at Reliance Precision, Matthew Lodge returned to work this week with newfound confidence, having spent seven days working on board the Stavros Niarchos, a 197ft Tall Ship. His journey from Ipswich to Stavanger, Norway with 30 other 16-25 year olds was anything but a holiday. He worked shifts through the night, doing everything from cooking and cleaning to navigation and steering, facing not only the agony of sea-sickness and the anxiety of working alongside strangers, but also the tremendous challenge of climbing 148ft high rigging. "It was amazing" Matthew said, "something I would never have done if not for Reliance. It did wonders for my self-confidence."
Mick Hallam, Reliance's Training Manager explains: "If we make our youngsters appreciate what they can achieve then we benefit as a company. The Tall Ships is one of a number of exercises we draw upon to encourage our apprentices to step out of their comfort zone and to stretch their own abilities. It develops their contribution to the performance of the team and, importantly, helps them build confidence in their own actions."
Reliance has invested in apprentice training for over 50 years and unusually has its own in-house training school. Over 20% of current employees were apprentice trained at Reliance, including many of the senior managers. This summer the company welcomed 5 new apprentices; part of the continued development of its engineering capability and commitment to ensuring long-term business continuity.