Gemini lead the way on apprenticeships in Milton Keynes
With over 105 apprentices over the past two years, Gemini are commited to enabling all employees to reach their full potential
Gemini Rail Group’s 400 strong Wolverton workforce delivers servicing, maintenance repair and upgrading on all rolling stock/train types. Few businesses can claim to be as active or innovative in the field of apprentices as Gemini Rail Services. With over 105 apprentices over the past two years, the business has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to upskilling their employees, supporting progression and enabling all employees to reach their full potential.
This commitment to workforce development spans the breadth of threw business, from those just starting, through to experienced employees, and from those on the shop floor through to senior management.
Currently the business has apprentices across a range of levels and subjects, from level 2 through to under graduate and post graduate degrees: from engineering, management to business improvements. Over the past five years, four employees have been supported to secure an under-graduate degree, and three further employees are currently enrolled on degree level courses.
The business has established excellent relationships with Bedford college, Milton Keynes College, Northampton college, University of Northampton as well as with private training providers. At the heart of these relationship is the desire for excellence and innovation in all training provision, developing employees with the skills and abilities the business needs. Gemini Rail Services also work with schools, further and higher education providers, to offer work placements and raise awareness of the career opportunities available.
“We want to ensure that we develop all our staff, from those starting out new to engineering, to those that have worked for the company for many years.
The passing on of valuable skills form one generation of workers to the next is key to our success.
I am proud to support the apprentice’s programmes as it gives the apprentices the skills and tool set for life- long learning. By Giving people autonomy and responsibility they are able to contribute to our businesses and add value to the organisation. For many years I have been an advocate for apprenticeship with the organisation’s mantra of apprenticeship to fellowship. Gemini rail Services are supporting me to fulfil my ambitions.”
Neil Furniss, Training and Development Manager
The world of skills is ever changing, with varying government policies, new ways of learning emerging, constant technological advances and the introduction of the apprenticeship Levy. Gemini Rail Services has managed to stay abreast of this, adapting to change as it occurs and utilising the different support that is available.
And not everyone will share this passion or understand the importance of workforce development. Incentivising employees, identifying advocates for learning, and publicly recognising the efforts of employees are key.
- The commitment to apprenticeships and workforce development has brought many benefits to Gemini Rail Services (Wolverton Works):
- Employees value the investment in them and recognise the progression opportunities available, thereby raising morale, enhancing employee commitment to the business and improving employee retention.
- The skills and knowledge gained form training can be applied for the benefit of the business and can help support further growth.
- Apprentices can offer new ideas and perspectives, offering a challenge to established ways of working, suggesting improvements and change and offering a way to share learning across different generations.
- Recognition of individual apprentices, and the business overall, brings increased profile and appreciation, both internally and externally of the quality of the business and its employees, increasing it desirability as a place of work.
- Supports succession planning, especially important in sectors with an ageing workforce.
- Seeing employees grow and develop, and helping individuals to achieve their potential, brings with it huge amounts of satisfaction.