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Training up

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Many people leave school without knowing which career path they want to follow and even fewer know how to achieve the best qualifications.

For 22-year-old James Stuart from Turriff, following in his family’s footsteps and pursuing a job in the construction sector seemed most likely, but that all changed after landing a summer placement with Portlethen-based Hunting Energy Services.

His excellent time keeping and enthusiasm to learn impressed bosses at the leading global upstream provider so much that he landed a full-time job in the company’s logistics department where he was given the chance to develop his career and gain a qualification.

Hunting encouraged James to register on a modern apprenticeship qualification in logistics through Aberdeen-based ITCA Training.

ITCA, which is one of the largest engineering apprenticeship training firms in Scotland, works with a range of firms across the north-east to provide training for young employees, and although they offer the traditional disciplines, the training centre delivers business focused courses and apprenticeships.

ITCA has been providing the north-east with apprenticeship courses for more than 20 years and works closely with employers and Skills Development Scotland to deliver courses across a wide range of disciplines.

James graduated with a modern apprenticeship in logistics operations management earlier in the year, and was honoured with the Outstanding Learner award by ITCA in recognition of his hard work and dedication throughout his course, which saw him being promoted by his employers.

June Jones, managing director of ITCA Training, said: “As well as delivering apprenticeships in engineering, the training centre has an experienced team of assessors on-hand to deliver business focused courses and non-traditional apprenticeships.
“As Hunting isn’t a logistics company, there wasn’t a natural mentor for James who really was thrown in at the deep end. James really was a star learner and we are extremely proud of what he has gone on to achieve.”

Christine Stewart, training manager at Hunting, explained that logistics management is very important to the company, and James now plays a key role in the logistics department.

“James is young, keen and smart, all of these attributes can add significant value to the Hunting business and to the materials and logistics group.
“James is one of many young people within Hunting and given the right guidance, training and reward for their efforts are going to become the next generation of long-term Hunting employees.

“After gaining the qualification with ITCA, we had no hesitation in promoting him to reward him for his hard work and Hunting now plans to drive him slowly forward to becoming a materials management specialist within the company’s diverse product line divisions, whilst teaching him the use of Dynamics AX and its ERP/MRP (Enterprise Resource Planning/Manufacturing Resource Planning) processes and explaining why these tools are important to our business.
“Looking after the logistics aspect of our business is another key area for James and the management of this process and its associated costs is another learning curve. James will also become heavily involved in materials control, from stock counting to reconciliation, and stock adjustment to audits.

“We have a great working relationship with ITCA and always know that regardless of the area of expertise apprentices will be trained to the highest level.”

James said he would encourage others to follow in his footsteps, and the course has been extremely valuable to him, allowing him to work and learn at the same time.

He said: “When I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do but working at Hunting who have been a supportive employer and by allowing me to complete my modern apprenticeship with ITCA has helped me find a career that I love.”