Technical and professional solutions expert Fluor has commended the ECITB’s Train to Retain initiative for helping apprentices and graduates within the company continue key training and development activities during the pandemic.

UK representatives of the Fortune 500 company, which has been providing engineering, procurement and construction services worldwide for more than 100 years, have praised the support given to 21 of its young engineers by the Government skills body’s pandemic support programme.

Fluor’s offices in Farnborough, Hampshire.

Since the launch of the scheme in Spring 2020, Fluor employees have used 1,500 days of Train to Retain support. This has reduced the need to furlough new entrants in the business and instead helped them to develop new skills that have created opportunities in the workplace and brought added value to the company.

Laura Pearse, Fluor’s UK Talent Lead, has worked closely with the ECITB to make use of Train to Retain in a variety of ways.

“Rather than put employees on furlough, we have been able to sustain them in positions where they can both add value to the business and continue their professional development,” said Laura.

“Train to Retain has supported individuals in a variety of ways, some have learned new software or taken time to advance towards chartered status, others have had the opportunity to get involved with contracts and increased their commercial awareness and business acumen.”

Mechanical Engineer Jessica Depner joined Fluor in September 2019 and much of her professional experience has been gained during the pandemic.

“Before the pandemic happened I didn’t have much experience, but Train to Retain enabled me to gain experience of a late stage EPC project,” said Jessica.

“It has given me the opportunity to really get involved and gain experience of different packages and areas of the project to the point where I now have the skills to be fully billable on the project.”

Ian Hogg, Manager of Engineering with Fluor, said: “Train to Retain is a fantastic idea that came just at the right time. We felt it was really important to keep our staff engaged and developing through the lockdown period. The ECITB’s programme provided our people with a great opportunity to continue their development rather than be placed on furlough.

“We asked each of them to treat it as their own project to come up with a plan and to manage their own development. As a result many of them took really challenging courses and gained valuable new insights and knowledge for the company across many areas including learning how we can make best use of new and alternative technologies.”

Chris Claydon, ECITB Chief Executive, said: “I’m really proud of our Train to Retain scheme, which has enabled young engineers like those at Fluor to continue learning vital workplace skills during an extremely challenging time for our industry.

“By investing to support training and development activities for more than 400 apprentices, trainees and graduates around the country during the pandemic, the ECITB has helped keep their careers on track, and made a real contribution to the future of our industry.”

Train to Retain