Local is key to apprenticeships

Apprentice joiners at work with foreman Mick Wilks
Apprentice joiners at work with foreman Mick Wilks
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WHEN it comes to recruiting top young talent, there’s nothing like keeping things local.

Construction company Frank Haslam Milan has five keen apprentices working on a scheme in Shiregreen – and all live within a few hundred yards of the site.

Connor Bamford, aged 19, Redd Kempton, 18, and Matt Powell, 19, are all apprentice joiners who are part of the Sicey Pavilion Apartments development on the site of the former Sicey Hotel.

Apprentice bricklayer Ryan Petch, 18, and maintenance operations apprentice Kieran Truman are also working on the project.

The £2.2 million Sanctuary Housing scheme is creating homes for the over-55s and is due to be completed in April.

FHM training manager Jan Hodgett said the lads’ hard work should be celebrated as part of the fifth National Apprentice Week.

“We found the apprentices at a local job fair which we held on the estate and we took them on two years ago,” she said.

“Having local apprentices is great because it gives them ownership and they are very proud of what they are doing.

“FHM knows that this can help with unemployment, as well as find really talented young people within local communities.”

Connor said: “This scheme is really close to where I live. I come from Shiregreen and so I love that I am one of the apprentices working on the development.”

The teenager is training for a joinery qualification at Sheffield College and working at Sicey fitting kitchens and doors.

He said: “I’ve been working with different people and there’s always something new to learn.

“No-one else in my family has done joinery so it’s great to learn a new skill.

“I want to have my own business one day so I know if I knuckle down I can finish my apprenticeship in another year and then I’m on the way to getting there.

“I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship. When I started mine I was in the first year at college and straight away I started doing a lot of work on-site, it was a real move forward.

“If I have my own company one day this will be where it all started.”

Project manager Jonathan Woodhead said: “The young trainees live in Shiregreen so they have a real affection for the area and know the people here. It works both ways, they get a lot out of it and we get a really enthusiastic workforce.

“They’re a good set of lads and they’ve had a big boost from seeing the changes they’re making.”

n Apprenticeship success: see Star Business today.