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Ex TTE apprentice helps bridge the skills gap

20 Dec 2023
David Whiles And Apprentice

David Whiles, Operations Manager for Hydrasun, is championing apprenticeships as he has experienced first-hand the opportunities it can bring. 

Hydrasun is a market leader in the provision of integrated fluid transfer, power and control solutions and offers a diverse range of products and services in the sector. 

David, who has been at Hydrasun for over 7 years, is responsible for the day to day running of Hydrasun and first introduced the idea of apprenticeships to the business. 

“Throughout my career I have always experienced apprenticeships as and integral part of the workforce, and being an ex-apprentice myself, I knew how valuable they can be as an individual. When I joined Hydrasun I was surprised we didn’t have any so I worked with the team at TTE so see how we could incorporate it into our workforce development strategy. We employed our first apprentice around five years ago and haven’t looked back.” 

“It has been a great investment to the business as we have been able to grow from the ground up and promote from within. David Johnson was our first apprentice and he now deputises our Technical Services Manager.” 

Now having employed a number of apprentices, David and the team at Hydrasun have been able to really see they pay off. 

The apprentices have been able to not only receive their vocational training but also experience real working situations and gain valuable practical experience on the Hydrasun workshop floor, where they wouldn’t otherwise gained in a more traditional classroom setting. 

“I feel giving people the hands-on experience better educates them and prepares them for what is expected from industry. 

“We are also learning from our apprentices every day, it is great to have fresh ideas – we encourage our apprentices to always ask questions as this opens up new conversations in the business and helps us develop.” 

Hydrasun’s Teesside base has grown rapidly and as a result, they continue to invest in apprenticeships. 

“We’ve increased our workforce by 100% within a year, we have big aspirations to grow but are conscious of doing it properly, our apprentices play a huge part in this and as the business grows, they will develop and act as mentors too.” 

“We couldn’t have done this without the support from TTE, we have fine-tuned our recruitment process with them and now offer a full week’s experience to candidates so they can also decide if we are the right choice for them, this has been really successful. We also go out and meet current students so they understand what Hydrasun is about before they apply.” 

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