Builder’s apprentice policy praised

An award-winning builder has been praised for their apprenticeship programme by the construction industry’s training body.

Anwyl Construction, who built the new Learning Centre and Small Animals Centre at Northop College and also the Constructions Skills Centre at Deeside College, estimate that up to 40 per cent of their 150-strong permanent workforce are apprentices or former apprentices.

Celia Williams, North and Mid Wales Area Delivery Manager for the Construction Industry Training Board-ConstructionSkills, said: “We have worked with Anwyl Construction for a
number of years and they are very proactive when it comes to supporting apprenticeships.

“They take on traditional apprentices and are also involved in the Pathway to Apprenticeship scheme where they offer work experience to building industry students at colleges across North Wales.

“This gives the students the opportunity to see what a career in the construction industry is all about and if they do well then Anwyls will offer them apprenticeships.”

Many of their apprentices over the years have come from Deeside College including Ed Wild, the site manager for the £2.1 million new Learning Centre, adjudged North Wales’s Best New Educational Building earlier this year.

He learned his trade as a bricklayer at Deeside College where he was Apprentice of the Year and
Rhyl-based Anwyls currently have students on work experience at a number of sites across North Wales.

College Vice-Principal Steve Jackson said: “We have about 100 construction apprentices and we play an important pat in preparing young people to go into the construction trade.

“We have a very good partnership with Anwyls and the skills centre they have built for us will provide the construction industry with a workforce for the future.”

Anwyl’s Director Tom Anwyl said: “We view apprentices as the lifeblood of the building industry and we take particular pride in developing them to become the site managers and contracts managers of the future.

“We are also pleased that many of our apprentices have had good and successful careers with us and then gone on to set up their own companies many of which now sub-contract to us.

“By helping these companies to start up we are also helping the local economy and we have a number of examples of our former site and contracts managers now heading companies which employ significant numbers of people.

“A number of our former apprentices have won major awards with us as site and contracts managers and it is pleasing when you see talented staff progress and build careers with us.”

Among those to have worked at Northop College is Matthew Allport, 23, from Prestatyn, who qualified as a joiner with Anwyls and is now an apprentice site manager and he said: “I love it. It gets more advanced and there’s so much to it but it’s very interesting work and Anwyls work across so many different sites that you get lots of different experience.

“I’m hoping to be a project manager in the next two or three years by which time I should have the
qualifications and, through working with Anwyls, the experience as well.”

Ryan Baillie, 18, from St Asaph, came to Anwyls on work experience from Llandrillo College, and was taken on as an apprentice joiner.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed the work. I’ve worked at Bangor University and also at Northop College on the Small Animals Centre.

“College is good but you learn so much on site. You really see how the work is done there.”

Anwyl Construction take on at least four apprentices a year and Tom Anwyl estimates that personnel entered via this route now make up 40 per cent of the workforce, approximately 60

He added: “We have a very good working relationship with CITB-ConstructionSkills
and we discuss our apprenticeships with them and work with them to help place people with potential.

“We also give students work experience and try and take them on if they like what they see of us and of the industry and we work very closely with the colleges where the apprentices are trained.”

Anwyl Construction have been responsible for the state of the art facilities in the construction
faculty at Deeside College at Connah’s Quay and they have also carried out major projects in the last 12 months at Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Llandrillo College, Rhos on Sea, and at Coleg Menai, Llangefni.

At Coleg Menai’s new Energy and Fabrication Centre Anwyls became the first North Wales company to win the prestigious BREEAM excellence award for Coleg Menai’s new £2.5 million
Energy and Fabrication Centre at Llangefni.

That rates the building for its environmental impact and its sustainability and to get it the Rhyl-based construction company had to adhere to the strictest standards and they passed them with flying colours.

Tom Anwyl said: “We consciously take care to invest in our staff going forward and that helps us to
operate better and more consistently and gives benefit to our staff and our clients.

“We are always looking to develop of staff and are implementing schemes to facilitate the further
progression into senior management positions.

“CITB-ConstructionSkills are also assisting us in taking personnel other than the traditional apprentice route such as the long term unemployed providing them with suitable training to
enable us to provide them with work experience and even permanent positions in the case of the projects recently completed in Northop.”

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