Aztec Event Services is celebrating the success of two former apprentices, now trainee technicians. Both Ryan Colbourne and Archie Mortimer, who joined Aztec straight from school as apprentices in 2011, have just been awarded their NVQ Level III Events and Live Production diplomas.
After spending one year as apprentices and one year as trainee technicians, Archie and Ryan are now both fully qualified AV technicians.
Aztec’s rolling apprenticeship scheme has been a revelation to the firm, according to Aztec’s operations director Steve Colesell: “In the past we found it quite difficult to recruit qualified and knowledgeable staff prepared to adopt the Aztec ethos and way of doing things. Our apprenticeship scheme has become a valuable route to finding the people we need, and in the last two years we’ve established a really successful pathway for conveying young talent into the company.”
Working together with NVQ trainers, Aztec has helped to develop a tailor-made NVQ syllabus in Events and Live Promotion that gives the new apprentices a flying start in the industry, whether they choose to stay with Aztec or not.
New apprentices at Aztec spend their first three months just learning the aspects of the business by preparing equipment in the warehouse, and by six months they are confidently prepping, storing and checking items in and out of the inventory. After six months, apprentices start working in the field, assisting in rigging and derigging AV installations. After a year, they reach the level of trainee technician and can rig a screen and basic PA by themselves, and as well as their technical skills they have developed a keen understanding of the industry and its various wrinkles and foibles, setting them in good stead for their future careers.
As John Robson, Aztec’s managing director puts it, “Because apprentices are inculcated into the Aztec way of doing things and its ethos of sustainability and corporate responsibilty from the outset, they’re not just excellent employees, but great ambassadors for the company too.”