The numbers speak for themselves: According to EEF, two-fifths of manufacturers say over 40% of their workforce is aged over 50 and Engineering UK predicts we need around 265,000 skilled entrants into engineering each year between now and 2020. Electro mechanical engineering is not necessarily an industry that young people would automatically think of when making the all-important career decisions that will have a big impact on their future, which is a challenge.
At Houghton International, one way we are making our contribution to closing this skills gap is with our industry-recognised apprenticeship programme, designed to give young people the skills they need to succeed in the industry. In addition to this, we recognise how important it is for young people to gain experience for them to know what they want to do in the future. As such, we welcome work experience students who are interested in any aspect of the business, whether office-based or more hands on.
In August, we were joined by work experience student Jennifer for a week of shadowing various roles around the business. She spent time in different areas of the business and gained experience of everything from hands on work to finance, human resources and marketing. Jennifer wrote a ‘Day in the life’ article describing the role that had interested and inspired her most during the week: our HR Officer, Husna Begum.
Here’s what she had to say:
Husna’s work is different every day. She works with Pam in the Human Resource department and they both work together to ensure the HR aspect of Houghton International runs smoothly. Husna loves her job and agrees that Houghton International is the best place she has ever worked.
Husna works 39 hours a week in her office with Pam. Together they work to provide certain schemes and bonuses that are set in place to push their employees to do their best and make Houghton International a great place to work. These are advertised in the leaflet she gave me which included the mission, values and principles Houghton International follows. For example, their mission is, “to be the best in the world at what we do.” Husna organises many schemes such as the sharing success bonus scheme which rewards all employees when the business performs well. There is also a pension scheme which helps employees save for their future. These are all managed by the Human Resource department to improve the employees’ work life.
Husna also keeps a safe and secure record of all the necessary personal information on each employee. This is important as their information is kept safe as only Husna and Pam are allowed access to this information and no one else. This makes her job role very important as without the Human Resource aspect of her job, information may not be as secure as it is now with her working in Houghton International.
Husna was responsible for organising my work experience here at Houghton International. She ensured I was placed in different parts of the business to show me all of what the business does and what happens on a day to day basis. She organised a timetable and was responsible for ensuring I was placed with each department. Work experience is fairly new at Houghton International. Husna took part in putting this new scheme in place to show young people the world of work.
Husna applied to Houghton International on their website after experiencing various jobs with roles in human resources and has now been here for two years.
I found her job very interesting. However, the most interesting aspect of her job is how it varies every single day. No day is the same as the other as her tasks change constantly. Therefore her job is never boring and she always manages to have a good experience working at Houghton International.