What better way to understand the highly sophisticated equipment your company manufactures, than to see it in operation.
Apprentices at Chapeltown-based B. Braun Medical have done exactly that – in the most literal sense.
Young trainees at the global giant’s head office have gowned up in scrubs and stepped into operating theatres to watch surgeons in action.
They witnessed intricate keyhole procedures being performed using B. Braun’s high-tech Einstein Vision System, which gives the surgeon a 3D image of his instruments as he works inside a patient’s body.
One of the apprentices had actually helped build the Einstein Vision system, which launched in 2015 and is now in use 212 hospitals worldwide, including Sheffield’s Northern General. To see it in operation was a fascinating experience for him,” said a B. Braun spokesperson.
The company believes going that extra mile for its apprentices reaps big rewards for a business employing 1,200 across three companies in the UK, and where staff loyalty is so high less than four per cent leave.
“Apprentices are so important to the company because we need new blood. To stay ahead of the competition we need to invest in and develop the next generation of talent,” said Lisa Burns, head of B Braun UK Group’s HR.
“But equally apprentices are our fresh eyes and ears. They bring a fresh perspective and ideas which lead to us finding new and innovative approaches. We have implemented many of them.”
The company currently has six apprentices on a three-each programme, all recruited via The Source Skills Academy at Meadowhall.
“The Source was a natural pairing for us,” said Lisa. “It is a fellow gold-accredited Investors In People associate for whom professionalism and high achievement is the norm. It understands the drivers that make a business successful.”
Like previous apprentices, most who are now permanent staff, the six will work in three key areas of the business. “This gives them a real understanding of how departments work and how they interact with each other, an opportunity most employees don’t get. Often they see something that works well in one department which isn’t being implemented in another,” explained Lisa.
To ensure new apprentices settle in, B. Braun runs a Buddy Scheme with apprentices from previous years acting as mentors, and an Apprenticeship Coordinator guides them through the basics of business etiquette so they fit into the workplace.
Lisa added: “In Apprenticeships Week we urge other companies to develop apprenticeship schemes. Investing in young talent enables you to create business-ready employees who understand your company and are loyal, committed and able to make a significant contribution to your current and future plans.”