Apprentices are key to growing workforce
Apprentices have played a key role in helping building-services provider JS Wright grow its workforce by over 50% over the past decade. And the company has recently welcomed the 40th new recruit to its apprentice academy, which was launched in 2008. Today, 49 of the company’s 140 employees are current or former JS Wright apprentices.
This year the company plans to recruit at least five more trade and technical trainees.
Managing director Marcus Aniol has no doubts that the apprentice academy has enabled the company to fill the skills gap within the construction industry and talent-spot its leaders of tomorrow.
He says, ‘Our current and former apprentices, who now make up 35% of our workforce, are making an invaluable contribution to our success as we continue to expand our business nationally with an ever-expanding order book.
‘We launched our academy as a number of senior engineers were nearing retirement to attract high-quality trainees, instill in them our values of integrity, loyalty and quality, and help them develop as our future leaders.
Paul Millington, academy leader and associate director, who has guided the academy since it was formed, is planning its ninth annual outdoor meeting this summer, having developed successful partnerships with companies that include Rehau, Polypipe Terrain, Victaulic and Worcester Bosch.
He says, ‘The training with our suppliers has proved invaluable to the company by improving the technical knowledge of our apprentices and helping develop their communication skills.’
His own career path began at JS Wright 43 years ago as an apprentice plumber.
The academy’s success is reflected in the eight national training awards won since 2008.