Ready to go Outward Bound again

Outward Bound with the Thales apprentices

Having thoroughly enjoyed myself putting the Thales apprentices through their paces on the Lake District-based Outward Bound programme in June this year, I’m now gearing up to do it all again this time next week on 17th November. Given the recent dip in temperature, it’s looking like we might need to wrap up a bit warmer than we did back in the summer!

The programme in June was focussed on improving teamwork and helping the apprentices build a much-needed network throughout the organisation. It was a huge success, with Thales UK’s Director of Employee Relations and Engagement Jim Finlayson saying he could see a real, demonstrable difference between how the apprentices were at the beginning of the programme and how they had grown by the end of the week.

The apprentices themselves were extremely happy with the result too, with all of them saying they felt much more confident communicating in groups and trusting others by the end of the week. That was exactly the result we were hoping for, so I was really pleased with the outcome.

Developing further confidence for the future

This time the focus will be on leadership behaviours and abilities in line with the Thales leadership model, so we’ll be putting the apprentices through different types of activities and placing them in scenarios designed to enhance their performance and prepare them to deal with real business issues. We want them to develop and grow as individuals, and to think about their future and how they can contribute to the wider company. It’s not just about thinking, though – they also have to be able to communicate those thoughts to the group.

The programme, as before, is not just about teaching the apprentices how to do a specific job; it is designed to show them how to act and behave within a professional business environment, particularly within the context of Thales.

Taking the learning back to the workplace

The week is going to be a lot of fun, and a great break from the apprentices’ ordinary working environments, but it is not just about going out into the wilderness and having a good time. The apprentices will create solid actions, based on the skills they’ll learn and the experiences they’ll have, which they can take back to the workplace and implement within the context of their day job. This is about having a long term impact on their overall skillsets, ultimately making them well-rounded employees and better able to succeed within the business.

Like last time, we’ll be posting lots of pictures and updates from the week on our social media channels, so keep your eyes on our LinkedIn and Twitter feeds to get a first look at the action. I’ll be the one in the very warm coat!

Nick has spent many years in both commercial management and L&D roles – designing, developing and delivering regional and national training programmes across the entire training cycle – with experience spanning  management development, customer service, HR training and team development, across the retail, facilities management and engineering industries and in both public and private sectors. Click here to read Nick’s full profile.

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