Apprentice Induction Event

Quest first worked with one of the country’s biggest engineering firms back in 2012, and has been delivering a two-day induction event for their annual Apprentice intake every year since. This year the number of Apprentices was at an all-time high, and 15 joined the Quest team in the Cotswold Water Parks at the end of September.

Objectives

The key fact for this event is that the Apprentices have recently left secondary education to join the Apprenticeship Scheme. With a limited knowledge and awareness of the business world, the event provides a first step in exposing and giving the Apprentices the opportunity to work at and practice: Team Work; Time Management; Prioritisation; Problem Solving and Communication.

The event provides a perfect opportunity for many of these skills to be practiced and honed via highly participative, challenging and fun experiential exercises and challenges.

It should also be stressed that for many, if not all of the Apprentices, as relatively young people (many of whom are still in their teens), the opportunity to form and build a support network amongst their peers as they start their working life, is of huge benefit both emotionally and practically.

Run Bike KayakT

he first day started with some physical and competitive activity, as the Apprentices were given a taster session in Adventure Racing. Working in small teams, and accompanied by Quest staff, they were given a waterproof map marked with sixteen check-points or CP’s. Each CP was worth a certain number of points and they had to plot the most efficient course to visit as many as possible on foot and off-road bike. They then met at the beautiful Lake 32 in the Water parks and took part in a Kayak relay race.  A busy start and some ideal opportunities to get to know team mates and practice communication and team skills, especially allocating roles and taking care of one another.  

 High Ropes

Trust is a key element (in fact the foundation element) of building high performing teams, and where better to start to learn about that than on a high ropes course. Quest have worked with the terrific team at Head 4 Heights for many years, and they once again delivered with the always testing High All Aboard and Jacobs Ladder challenges.

Engineering Challenge

Following lunch it was straight on to the engineering challenge. Once again the Apprentices worked in small sub-teams, but changed around from the morning to continue the networking potential. Each team was provided with a big set of identical parts and fixings to build a full size Go-kart, but only a very limited set of plans. Using their acknowledged passion for mechanics and building, there was also the potential for collaboration and the key requirement for careful time-management across the teams, to ensure they were all finished with building and ready to race at the same time.  Racing was a great deal of fun, and maintained the momentum of competition through the event.

 ooking

One of the key aims of the event is to challenge and test the Apprentices. Once they had finished the engineering challenge, and on the back of an extremely active morning they could all have been excused for thinking they were in for some down time. Not the case! Working in yet again new sub-teams they were each allocated a fully self-contained kitchen, a box of identical food and ingredients and were tasked with cooking a three course dinner for their team plus a member of the Quest facilitation team. The initial reaction to the brief was one of some disbelief. However, at least one person in each sub-team galvanized their team-mates into action, and under the ever watchful eye of Chef it wasn’t long before amazement had transformed into chopping, mixing, boiling and frying, with everyone making a contribution. By early evening timings had been well coordinated and the Apprentices were ready to serve their starters and all sit down together for a most enjoyable evening.  

Review

The following day was one for reviewing and reflection, but also for further working together on an experiential task. This two day event was just the start of a three year development programme, run in conjunction with Wiltshire College and Quest’s partners at Forward Learning & Development, so the action planning element of the morning was crucial to help shape and formulate plans. Once that was complete it was back to work again this time in two big teams as the Apprentices took part in the high energy TV Newscast session.

For the Apprentices, some of whom had only just left school, this had been quite an introduction to working for a large organisation. All agreed it had been challenging but also fun and enjoyable. All had been able to start to build a network amongst their colleagues, which Quest knows will be invaluable to their development in the months and years to come.

Programming by Switch Systems

Team Building, Development and Business Training Events across the UK and Europe