Falmouth Exeter Plus is supporting a change of career direction for Estates team member Charlotte Putnam.
Charlotte, who has been working for Falmouth Exeter Plus since 2018, said the whole move was inspired by working on her grandmother’s home.
She explained: “My grandmother left her property to us and it needed quite a lot of renovation so I did a weekend course in plumbing. I had always wanted to do something like this and the course made me even more keen.”
Charlotte, who had been working with the Estates Helpdesk team, knew she would need a lot more training to realise her aims. She requested and is now a Junior Engineer on the Plant team and recently started a four-year Mechatronics course studying for an Engineering Technician Diploma.
“FX Plus has provided me with the opportunity to do this,” she added. “The fact they are really keen on training their own people makes you feel valued.”
Chris Piper, Head of Estates Operations and Charlotte’s manager, said: “When Charlotte approached me this seemed to be an ideal opportunity to support her in her chosen career path and for Falmouth Exeter Plus to benefit from her skills and enthusiasm. This training package also supports the national drive by WISE.”
WISE aims to support more women to be successful in the UK’s scientific, technology and engineering (STEM) workforce.
Congratulations to Emily Stanbury, winner of the Management category in this year’s Truro and Penwith College Apprenticeship Awards.
IT Project Manager Emily, who has been working for Falmouth Exeter Plus (FX Plus) for nearly seven years, said: “I was very surprised to win as the other candidates had clearly achieved a lot on their courses and I won it in 2019 so I didn’t expect it again. It was nice to be shortlisted and be able to go to an event after so long.”
Stuart Gaslonde, FX Plus Director of IT and Digital Services, said: “This award is well deserved – Emily has worked really hard over the years and we are delighted that we have been able to support her with the appropriate training to expand her skills. At FX Plus we are very keen on supporting apprenticeships and other training opportunities.”
Emily started with FX Plus as a Service Desk Support Technician and moved on to Print Services Manager, which is when she started the apprenticeship to support that role. During the apprenticeship she got a secondment to Project Management which was recently made into a permanent position.
She said: “The course I did was a combination of a diploma and apprenticeship and was called Level 3 Team Leader Supervisor. I had to spend one day a week working on the apprenticeship as part of my role. This could be a day in college, writing assignments or taking on extra responsibilities in my role. I also had to complete work in my own time due to the amount of work there was to complete as part of the diploma.
“I did the apprenticeship to support me in the promotion to Print Services Manager. I wanted to improve my skills and confidence in my abilities but also to look into other areas of management I would be interested in. This turned out to be project management!”
Emily, who was also a highly commended runner up for Apprentice of the Year, has more plans to progress. She said: “Next, I have been selected to take part in a programme called Aurora which encourages and develops female leaders in Higher Education. It begins in January so I am looking forward to starting that.”
Truro and Penwith College Apprenticeship Awards celebrates exceptional achievements. After a break because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s gala awards dinner (on Friday 19 November) was presented by Holly Day and Neil Caddy from Pirate FM.
FX Plus is encouraging training and employment in Cornwall by supporting 18-year-old Sean Burrows with his T level construction industry placement.
This is a first for the FX Plus Estates team and is also part of the pilot scheme for T levels.
Sarah Roby, FX Plus Estates Director, said: “As one of the main construction clients in Cornwall we are trying to develop much-needed skills and keep talent here. We, as FX Plus, already offer apprenticeships and a variety of in-house training and, when Sean contacted us, thought this would be an excellent route to encourage talent.”
Truro and Penwith College was the only provider in Cornwall chosen to trial the T levels – the equivalent of three A levels – from September last year (2020). Sean is one of the first cohort and, to gain real work experience, has to complete 20% of the course in a placement with an employer.
He said: “I feel very privileged to be with FX Plus and I am planning to extend my work experience because I enjoy it so much.”
During his time with FX Plus, Sean has been shadowing, Anna Foster, Head of Asset Management (Estates). She set out to give Sean as varied an experience as possible and has introduced him to colleagues and external partners, including building and structural surveyors, construction experts and landscape consultants, as well as ensuring he completes courses such as fire safety training.
“I am exposing Sean to a lot of different professions that are associated with the construction industry,” she explained. “I want to show him the variety of careers available.”
As a result of this, Sean has taken a particular interest in mechanical and electrical design and has helped out in a project for outside lighting at the Heart space on Penryn Campus.
“Design really put a light in my eyes,” he said. “I would recommend this T level and work experience to any other students. I am even hoping to come here on my days off from the course in my second year.”
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