Laing O’Rourke Apprentices Plus Programme
Dove Nest Group supports Laing O’Rourke in delivering their four year Apprentice Plus programme. The programme aims to provide Laing O’Rourke with highly trained and capable employees that can rapidly take on responsibility and ensure the future success of the business.
In partnership with Laing O’Rourke, Dove Nest Group designed the aspects of the programme to develop the apprentice behavioural competencies such as team working, communication, confidence and personal impact.
All the events are very experiential with debriefing sessions to facilitate the links back to the working environment of the apprentices. Apprentices are encouraged to identify their own work-based examples of the issues under discussion. The debrief sessions are also very interactive with props.
School / college to workplace transition
To accelerate the transition from a college or school environment to the workplace the first module considers the significance of first impressions and attitudes demonstrated. A follow up event three months into the apprenticeship looks at how to maximise the varied learning and development opportunities available.
Behavioural skills and raising self-awareness
Throughout the following three and a half years, there are two residential modules each year which focus on a wide range of skills including ability to deal with setbacks, taking responsibility, understanding their role within a team, customer focus, problem solving and analytical skills and planning. A core part of this is to raise the apprentices’ self-awareness through self and team reflection and structured peer feedback. Apprentices are initially challenged by the concept of peer feedback but often find that this is the most beneficial part of the programme.
At the end of each module apprentices identify what they are going to do back at work to develop their careers. This is then followed up at the subsequent module. There is a high level of commitment from Laing O’Rourke business leaders who attend the residential modules. This provides a superb opportunity for the apprentices to discuss issues with the managers and find about the business and opportunities.
Quotes from apprentices about what they found most useful and what they will do differently;
- I enjoyed all the feedback and am going to motivate myself more on site
- Tasks that make you think a bit more e.g. spiderweb task. You had to stop and think – you couldn’t just do it. Make me stop and think before just doing things and making mistakes
- The abseiling, I learnt to go out of my comfort zone and not to be afraid to attempt something I’ve never done
- Concentrate more and inject more energy into key decisions
- Not to rush into things, I will plan out what I’m going to do when given a job
One manager asked the Laing O’Rourke Apprentice Manager what had happen on one residential, as the returning apprentice was a completely changed character and had a dramatically more positive attitude to work.