Local construction firm backs trade apprenticeships


As National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March) gets under way this week, Stepnell is backing local trade apprenticeships by pledging to have 10 per cent of its workforce made up of apprentices, trainees and graduates. The pledge is part of the company’s longstanding commitment to training and developing the next generation of skilled tradespeople in the community.

The family-owned business, which has supported apprenticeships for over 50 years, has 13 apprentices currently in training across the Midlands and South of England. The firm hopes that its apprenticeship programme - which covers key trades such as joinery, bricklaying, painting and decorating, plant mechanics and groundworks - will attract more young people into construction careers. Stepnell provides an accredited and structured training programme which includes valuable hands-on work experience and one-to-one mentoring from specially trained members of Stepnell’s professional team.

"National Apprenticeship Week provides us with a great opportunity to promote construction careers and the wide range of fantastic opportunities our industry offers both men and women,” explains Karen Ryan, Stepnell best practice manager.

“Stepnell has always been a great supporter and believer in apprenticeships which have played an important role in helping the business attract, train and recruit talented new people. These people have in turn, brought fresh ideas and innovation into the company ensuring our long-term growth and success. We are proud of our apprentices and the role we have played over the years in their training and development. They are an investment in our future, our community and our industry.”

Apprenticeship schemes like Stepnell’s are vital to the UK construction industry which is suffering the worst skills shortage on record. The number of construction apprentices in training has halved since the start of the recession in 2008. With the economy now improving, the construction industry faces the difficult task of recruiting 36,400 people a year over the next five years to keep up with demand.

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