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Husqvarna cuts a career path for talentHusqvarna cuts a career path for talent

Training and development

Husqvarna cuts a career path for talent

Apprentices are at the cutting edge of robotic lawnmower technology saving a busy public time in the garden and helping to grow the next generation of talented engineers.

Newton Aycliffe-based outdoor product specialist Husqvarna is working with Teesside University to attract, retain and continually develop a valued workforce at a time of a global skills shortage.

As well as manufacturing and control/technical support engineers Husqvarna is also able to develop chartered managers, senior leader masters and upskill all its workforce.

Husqvarna UK Learning & Development Officer Rufus Ayre says: “In the current climate many businesses are struggling to recruit technical positions which is why our relationship with Teesside University works so well. We take people from apprentice to technician to competent engineer offering the chance for them to study a degree.

“We realise that the way we work is changing and that we will need more engineers in the future. Offering staff a self-empowered learning journey gives employees the means to continue their learning. It makes them feel valued and creates a positive culture across the whole organisation.

“Teesside University is fantastic to work with because they are flexible and understand us as a business and our needs which they build into the course making their studies relevant to when they are on site.

“It’s an exciting time for robotics and our lawnmowers are saving people a lot of time in the garden as well as improving their lawns.”

Husqvarna has continuous cycles of around six-degree apprentices in engineering, management and marketing.

“It is so great having the University on our doorstep, a truly local partnership, the support they offer to us as a business through the entire process is second to none,” says Rufus. “It’s not just us sending people to the University but also students seeing us as somewhere to have a great career once they have graduated. Attracting talent into our business and nurturing that talent is an integral element of our growth plans and apprentices are so important to our long-term success – we’re investing in them.”

For degree apprentice Connor Noble, the partnership has put him on the right path to a successful career. The 24-year-old was spotted by Husqvarna when he was at college and the idea of being a time-served apprentice appealed to him rather than head straight to university.

“My dad followed a similar route so what better way forward for me than to do something that works,” says Connor, of Darlington.

Husqvarna took him on a four-year apprenticeship resulting in an HND and he is now reading a B.Eng. in instrumentation and control, working as a junior software engineer four days a week and studying with Teesside University, at the moment, online.

“The remote learning has worked incredibly well, which I have fed back on in my end of term review,” he said. “It means we don’t have to commute but we will have to go into the campus to do lab work.

“Husqvarna has treated me so well right from the moment I started as a multi-skilled maintenance technician. I made a request to switch to software and they put me on secondment, which worked out really well. In effect they have allowed me to pick my own career.

“I just love turning up at work and love the education side, which is mainly directly relevant to the job I do. The dream is to continue to develop as an engineer at Husqvarna, a company that is always pushing the limits to remain at the forefront of technology.”

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