Date 07 Mar 2019
As a people-orientated business, Galliford Try is passionate about supporting apprenticeships together with our supply chain, encouraging all ages to enter the industry and take advantage of the fantastic career opportunities within construction.
Every project that Galliford Try is involved with will see apprentices develop in their chosen career while playing their part to provide the much-needed facilities we construct. As a company we are committed to addressing the skills gap in the industry, and at present over 400 Galliford Try employees are enrolled on our graduate, trainee or apprenticeship programmes.
The £20m Welsh Government funded Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility in Broughton is a great example of how a public sector construction project provides apprenticeship opportunities for those entering the workplace as well as upskilling existing employees.
Apprentices have been involved right from the start of the design and delivery of the project. Jack Carter is employed as an Architectural Assistant, by KKA Architecture, he says: “I have really benefitted from the training and the support of my professional mentor, they have helped to grow my confidence and professional development. I’ve been supported to complete my RIBA Part I accreditation, and I’m now working towards my Part II.”
Chris Davenport, trainee quantity surveyor for Galliford Try on the AMRF project, is clear about the benefits his degree apprenticeship offers.
“Studying my degree part time while working on the AMRF project bolsters my learning,” he comments. “I can use everyday project examples and it really helps to bring my learning to life. I earn a professional wage, and with my degree costs covered I will be debt free when I graduate”.
Chris has worked on the project since its inception and is responsible for procuring and managing subcontracts. One such subcontract award was given to scaffolding business AltradNSG, based in Deeside who also support degree apprenticeships alongside their scaffolding apprenticeships. Stephanie Lomax is a design engineer for AltradNSG, who has worked on the scaffold design solutions for AMRF, while studying for her civil engineering degree apprenticeship.
“This is actually my second apprenticeship!” she explains. “I went straight into an electrical apprenticeship from school, and this was a great route, gaining me lots of practical experience.
“With AltradNSG I’m on a progression plan, and am given more responsibilities as I complete each year of my degree. The more qualifications I have helps when working with the supply chain and winning future business.”
There are a number of traditional trade apprentices working on the project, including three electrical installation apprentices, two of whom are employed by NG Bailey who are the mechanical and electrical subcontractor for the project.
Callum Littlejohn has been working on the AMRF site with NG Bailey for two months, he explains why he loves his apprenticeship: “Learning whilst you earn is great, and I compliment my site learning with practical college learning.
“NG Bailey give great support to their apprentices, it’s very structured and the site reviews every six weeks help to identify opportunities to build my skills. I work with a lot people and get a wide variety of experience, and I’m now able to help other apprentices.”
The apprenticeships available do not just include those working in trades on site. For a project like the AMRF, manufacturers and suppliers are employing apprenticeships throughout the supply chain. Street Crane is a manufacturer of overhead cranes and hoists for the project, and currently employ 12 apprentices. They are involved in every aspect of the business, including; welding, electrical, fitting, software and mechanical design. Street Crane operates in a highly specialised sector, and see the value in investing and developing young, local talent to sustain their business.
Apprenticeships aren’t just for those entering their profession, they can also support existing employees to develop skills and progress their careers. Two of the AMRF Galliford Try project team are studying the ILM 5 (Institute of Leadership and Management) qualification as a part- time apprenticeship over two years.
Joy Woods, Social Value Manager for the project, explains: “Studying a development course as an apprenticeship gives me the opportunity to enhance my management skills and share learning with different parts of the business. I’m proud to work for a company that support apprentices at all levels, and feel it’s a great way to attract and retain valuable talent for our business.”
“It’s important to recognise the wider social and economic benefits of apprenticeships. Reducing worklessness, increasing skills and enhancing wellbeing enables business and community resilience, supporting economic sustainability and leaving a valuable legacy long after a construction project has completed.”
Government support at a national and devolved level is crucial to building the skills base. Wales’ Economy Minister, Ken Skates acknowledges: “Apprenticeships are a hugely important part of our work to increase skills levels and drive prosperity and economic growth right across Wales’ economy.
“I am delighted that the construction of flagship Welsh Government projects such as the £20m Advanced Manufacturing and Research facility in Broughton are playing an important role in helping us to deliver on our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in Wales by 2021, and it is great to hear apprentices from the project speaking so positively about their experiences.”