National Apprenticeship Week – Celebrating Success

National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for us to take stock of our apprenticeship and training initiatives and celebrate successes!

The construction sector needs new skills, new approaches and greater diversity in our recruitment. Apprenticeships and trainee schemes help us to meet all of these goals.  We are investing in the future and taking positive steps to fill the skills gap.

Vibrant training programmes are a characteristic of a healthy business. Our apprenticeship and training programmes help people develop knowledge and skills. They also undergo professional development training such as SMSTS (Site Management Safety Training System), ASTA (planning software), the Site Environmental Awareness Training Scheme (SEATS), First Aid and Asbestos Awareness.

The New Face of Apprenticeships

Breaking down the stereotypical view of apprenticeships being only trade focused is essential and we’re taking positive steps to do this. We offer Management Apprenticeships covering the disciplines of site management, quantity surveying and design.

We also work in partnership with universities that offer apprenticeships courses to provide the employment element of the apprenticeship agreement. This provides greater support and structure to apprentices.

One effect from our focus on trainees is that we’re employing a younger workforce and we’ve adapted our approach to take account of this.  Alongside developing technical skills we’re also nurturing life skills. This could be something as simple as helping someone plan their transport route, but it gives them the skills and confidence to do this for themselves.

We are learning from the experience too, as we develop new ways of working.

Embracing the Levy

We have always invested in our trainees and now we do it through a new route – the Apprenticeship Levy.

We currently have seven apprentices in our construction business on levels 3 – 6, covering school leavers and degrees. What matters most to us is finding the right people for our business, rather than focusing on which level they join us at.

Kyle Cummins, Apprentice Site Manager, joined Osborne in October 2017 and is studying for a BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying at the University of Portsmouth. He is currently working on our £60m Solum Twickenham regeneration project. Here’s what Kyle had to say on his apprenticeship experience with Osborne.

“The mix of site-based experience and University based learning has helped my knowledge grow massively and helped me grow as an individual in the industry. As part of the Apprenticeship scheme, I have always had such great help and guidance whenever I need it. I am really looking forward to continuing my apprentice experience here at Osborne”.

Mike Dixon, Trainee Quantity Surveyor, joined Osborne in August 2017 and is studying at the University of Portsmouth for a BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management. He is currently working on a £17m student accommodation project on Hollingdean Road in Brighton.

Mike says: “The atmosphere at Osborne is so friendly and welcoming; everyone is enthusiastic and supportive. Having been given lots of responsibilities and a wide range of tasks, combining my work and my studies has been the optimum way for me to learn. It is enabling me to thrive, and hopefully achieve my potential.”

Our Trainees Stay

We’re immensely proud that 95% of our trainees stay with us for at least five years after graduating from the programme. They often go on to mentor the new generations of trainees and progress to senior positions within the business, helping to build on the success.

Bringing new people, new skills and different backgrounds into our industry is how we will survive and thrive. Recruitment to our apprenticeship and trainee programmes helps us to present a realistic picture of the modern construction industry. This is successfully widening our recruitment base. It’s then up to us to provide the learning environment in which our apprentices and trainees will flourish.

Caroline Compton-James

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