As Sarah Wheadon, GreenSquare Learning and Development Advisor, explained: “Apprenticeships are no longer aimed at those just leaving school, but also at those who wish to re-train, move career paths or are returning to work after a break.
“The beauty of an apprentice routeway is that they are available in a variety of different disciplines – from administration and customer service to site construction and accountancy – and are offered up to degree level. Apprenticeships offer different opportunities; you can choose to upskill and embark on a qualification while already working in the organisation, or to join as a new employee.”
This year the GreenSquare Homes team invested in two new apprentice carpenter posts. The next three years will see the apprentices work towards a Level 2 and 3 in Site Carpentry, in conjunction with Swindon College, using the apprenticeship framework.
Tony Knight, Operations Manager for GreenSquare Homes, is a big supporter of apprenticeship roles within the business: “It is important that we invest in the talent of the future. The building trade has always supported apprenticeships, it is fundamental to the future of the industry to share knowledge and experience on site; and we do this by matching our apprentices with good quality sub-contractors.”
Our apprentice carpenters have joined us from two very different routes.
After working in hospitality for several years, James Lakey made the decision to change career paths. “I liked my job in hospitality but didn’t feel it was my long-term future,” he told us. “After buying my first property and renovating it I realised where my passion and interests lay – so decided to reinvent myself and applied to GreenSquare Homes for an apprentice carpenter role.
“There are lots of opportunities available once I am qualified, like becoming a site manager or setting up my own business. The apprenticeship is a brilliant platform to start my journey and I am really enjoying the chance to learn new skills and put them into practice; it is great going to work each day!”
Lawrence Lewis starts his journey straight from school; this is his first job. “I am really enjoying learning on the job as well as attending college,” he said. “I wasn’t a big fan of school I am more of an outdoor, ‘learn by doing’ person. The chance to learn, gain a qualification and get paid is a big bonus for me. I have always had an interest in working with wood, so when the carpentry apprentice post came up it was an ideal fit.”
John Mumford, Contracts Manager for GreenSquare Homes, explained how the teams support the apprentices: “Induction is a key element to our apprenticeship programme. For some this is the first time they have been on site, so it can be a strange place and a bit intimidating.
“We match our apprentices with a sub-contractor and work together to ensure what they learn at college is then translated into practice on site. James and Lawrence are a great contribution to the team and are really grasping the opportunity with both hands.”