Bailey tackles skill gap by welcoming new apprentice
Bailey Total Building Envelope is pleased to announce the recruitment of welding and fabrication apprentice Mikala Eade.
Mikala joined the team at the start of this month after studying at Crawley College for the past two years.
As part of her apprenticeship, Mikala will be working in the Bailey factory five days a week for the next year, immersing herself in the building envelope manufacturing process, with a college assessor visiting frequently to check her progress.
After her time at Crawley College, where she studied engineering before specialising in welding and fabrication in her second year, Mikala is now working towards her Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering. Her apprenticeship at Bailey will allow her to build on the theoretical knowledge she acquired in college and gain practical experience in a factory setting, providing the expertise she will require for her future.
“College was the perfect environment for me to learn the building blocks,” comments Mikala, “but at Bailey I can actually put all those skills to practise. Every day in the workshop is different. It’s great having my own tasks but still working as part of a team who are always happy to share the workload and give me any advice if I need it.”
At 18 years old, this is Mikala’s first step into the manufacturing and construction industry and she has been making the most of every new experience so far. “Completing a job you have been working on and passing it on to the next phase of the manufacturing process is a great feeling, knowing that I’ve played a role in making something that’s both useful and looks good.”
Within her first two weeks at Bailey, Mikala has already tackled multiple projects and faced new challenges, a highlight of which included fully mig welding a ‘curve piece’ together for a façade panel, both a technically challenging but enlightening assignment.
In an industry that is currently facing an increasing skills gap issue, Bailey hopes to set an example to other construction and manufacturing companies by demonstrating how taking on apprentices benefits both parties. Encouraging the younger generation to see the positives of working in this sector, embracing recruits from every background and tailoring an accessible path for them into the workplace are all instrumental methods to secure the future of the industry.
Entering what could be typically described as ‘a man’s world’, Mikala hasn’t been intimidated by the lower number of women working in the construction and manufacturing industries. “I was the only girl on my course at college and I’m the only girl working in the workshop but everyone has been so supportive and friendly, it’s not a problem at all.”
Daniel Gilmore, CEO at Bailey welcomes Mikala to the team: “We’re so pleased to welcome Mikala on board, supporting apprenticeship schemes is a great way we can strengthen the future of our industry while also supporting the growth of an individual in their chosen career path. Mikala’s hardworking and can-do attitude already puts her in good stead for her future and everyone at Bailey is keen to support her every step of the way.”