Specialist trade skills supported by apprenticeships
The flexible approach to apprenticeships offered by Truro and Penwith College Business has helped contribute to retaining specialist trade skills in the heart of Cornwall.
Construction company Cornish Stone Walling Ltd (CSW) approached the College to recruit two apprentices after the demand for their business increased. Although it was not the traditional time of year to seek new apprentices, the College recognised the needs of the business and helped them to recruit construction apprentices Matthew Ginns and Jack Ward to their workforce.
Although Matthew and Jack are on bricklaying and plastering apprenticeships respectively, working with CSW means that, not only are they becoming qualified in a valuable, niche skill, they are also learning the all-round construction skills which will ultimately make them more employable within the building trade.
Continuing Truro and Penwith College’s flexible and bespoke apprenticeship service, the Plastering apprenticeship is new provision created this year which has been designed and put in place especially for Jack, meeting the needs of learners and businesses in the county. Jack said: “I would still be labouring if it wasn’t for the apprenticeship programme. This gives me the chance to gain professional qualifications, as well as recognition for my work and experience. As the Plastering apprenticeship has been created for me and I am the only one on it, I have received lots of one to one tuition and have been able to pick things up quickly.”
Bricklaying apprentice Matthew is currently in the second year of the programme: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn a trade. My tutor is very knowledgeable and their support has been great. The qualifications and experience gained while on the apprenticeship mean that, after my second year, I’ll be in a position to continue working full time with CSW or go out and get a job elsewhere.”
CSW are working with Truro and Penwith College to transform Haven House, the College’s four storey city centre base to include a café and hairdressers both run as apprenticeship businesses as well as a fully equipped training and business hub. This means that the apprentices have the unique experience of learning their trade while contributing to the future of their college. The work on part of the building is already complete with the hair and beauty salon Inspiration now open and several of the floors nearing completion.
Tamsyn Harris, Head of Truro and Penwith College Business, said: “It is fantastic that as we transform Haven House into a centre for our business partners, for training and for apprentice businesses that CSW and their construction apprentices are part of this.”
Matt Jobe, Director at CSW, commented: “The Apprenticeship programme has been really beneficial to the business, it has allowed Jack and Matthew to develop their skills at College in an environment where they can make mistakes without significant consequences and learn from them. Their skills have been developed to a high level and they are up to speed when they come on site and apply them commercially.”
The College continues to develop new apprenticeship programmes to meet the requirements of businesses across Cornwall, as well as recruiting new apprentices for vacancies throughout the year.