Richard Mills is one of our trainers at United Utilities. He shares his insights on what makes a good mentor and tells us what he loves about his job.
“A good mentor is there to support an apprentice through their three or four year journey. It takes a great deal of commitment and responsibility to carry out the mentoring role but it is a critical part of the apprenticeship. A good mentor relationship will in turn lead to a successful apprentice - one who embraces the value of work and the essence of the business.
“As a trainer I must ensure that the curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the Industry Standard, which also involves meeting the demands of the competitive workplace at United Utilities. Learners must be given a great training experience to enable them to become future engineers with the right knowledge and skillset.
“Our specially designed and adapted training centre in Bolton helps our apprentices gain so much. They’re given the chance to learn and develop their skills from highly experienced trainers by using equipment that helps them prepare for future mechanical and electrical roles. The centre also provides our apprentices with a safe working environment, which enables them to become competent and confident in the tasks they must complete in training and later on in a real working environment.
“The best part of my job is seeing the success of our apprentices. Our apprentices who have recently completed their Water Process Technician Standard have produced some amazing results. It’s a great experience when you see each individual start to demonstrate their learning in the workplace.
“All of our apprentices attend an Outward Bound course in their first two weeks at United Utilities. This is a great opportunity to meet and build relationships with other apprentices on a range of programmes. The Outward Bound includes a range of team activities such as hiking, sailing and an overnight expedition. This is fantastic experience for all of our apprentices and provides a great platform for team working in United Utilities. I attended the Outward Bound trip in 2018 as a mentor and it was great to be involved. Seeing these young apprentices really work well together and push their own personal limits was truly inspiring and probably one of my best moments at United Utilities."