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Apprentice intake carves a slice into the skills gap

We have unveiled our latest apprentice intake as we aim to encourage more people of all ages to consider a future in construction.

Our most recent recruits include two new employees in their 30s, who have taken up carpentry apprenticeships as a change in career.

Lloyd Hart from Wrexham, who had been working in engineering, and Zoe Booth, from Ellesmere, who studied for a level one site carpentry qualification at Coleg Cambria, have joined 16-year-old Charlie Lowe from Welshpool and Max Williams,17, from Llanfyllin, who previously studied carpentry at Newtown College, on our team. 

They will be working on sites alongside their mentors as well as attending Shrewsbury College to undertake a level two site carpentry course. 

We have also appointed our first ever apprentice site manager, Oliver Roberts, 18, from Llanfair Caereinion, who recently completed his A levels at Ysgol Uwchradd Caereinion. He will combine study for formal qualifications at the Shrewsbury Colleges Group with work, initially at the orthopaedic centre we’re building for armed forces veterans at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital in Gobowen, under the guidance of experienced site manager and mentor Andrew Owen. 

Training manager Michelle Benjamin said: “Apprenticeships have long been thought of as an option only for school and college leavers but they are a great way to earn while you learn.  

“Our new apprentices will be supported by our experienced team and get a chance to learn practical skills on our live building sites alongside study at college. There’s a recognised skills gap nationally in construction and being able to draw older people into the sector would be one way to bridge that gap.”

She added: “An apprenticeship can offer the potential for a long-term career for the right person. One of our former apprentice carpenters, Paul Brooke, has been with us for 25 years and mentored many trainees during his career. And one of our contracts managers, Aaron Evans, started with us as an apprentice carpenter before working his way up to his current position.” 

We won the Shropshire Business award for our commitment to training and education in 2020 and are a member of The 5% Club, a national movement committed to investing in new talent – 15 per cent of our current workforce are apprentices or trainees.