Jodie Broady, HR Generalist – Learning & Talent Development at Mira Showers, talks about the importance of apprentices and how the industry can get them to develop and flourish in the workplace.

The current skills shortage within the UK plumbing industry means that, as a business, it is essential that, alongside our contemporaries, we’re playing our part to futureproof our sector.

To do this, and help support the future of the industry, businesses need to ensure young people are aware of the opportunities available to them and the actions they need to take to secure these, whether it’s plumbing, manufacturing, engineering, or more commercial roles.

This is where the value of apprenticeships is highlighted and comes to life – investing in the emerging talent enables companies to approach business challenges with a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective; apprentices bring enthusiasm, energy, and curiosity, adding an exciting fresh dynamic to any team. 

The benefits are two-fold; companies are able to equip the next generation with the appropriate skills to drive the business forward and also ensure they remain a competitive force in the market.

The hands-on style of training associated with apprenticeships provides practical, on-the-job experience, allowing the individuals to learn first-hand, while enabling apprentices to have a direct impact in the company at the same time.

At Mira Showers there is a long history of investing in people, which is why apprenticeships are a key part of our culture. We recognise the importance of investing in future talent and people who will play a part in the growth of both the business and the wider industry. 

Every year, Mira Showers welcomes a new cohort of apprentices to the business, across engineering, finance, marketing, and the supply chain. Each with their own personalised plan, the apprentices rotate around different departments within the business, enabling the practical application of the theory they learn at college. 

Our ethos is to support and promote this young talent and we do that by enabling them to have accountability for their work and a genuine impact on what they are working on. 

While we do what we can internally to encourage more apprenticeships, and have also set up additional initiatives such as Headstart that enables us to take that ethos beyond our gates, there’s still work to be done.

There is still a lack of awareness of apprenticeships and the benefits these provide – not only will individuals learn the technical skills required within the specific sector, but they will also learn a vast array of soft skills that can be applied to a variety of other career options at a later date, if they decide the apprenticeship isn’t for them. 

The industry also needs to be working even closer with educational bodies and institutions to ensure the option of apprenticeships is introduced at the right time, not just to those who know what they want to do, but those who may have not decided upon their career path. Communicating that these apprenticeships can help individuals get one step ahead of everyone else isn’t going to be a bad thing either.