Well deserved recognition for our whole team – Highly Commended at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2021

We’ve recently been asked what we’re most proud of achieving as a company over 2021. It’s a difficult question – despite the challenges the whole industry has faced over the last year we’ve had many highlights in terms of completions, contracts won, the usual ups and downs of construction contracting. On reflection though, the highest point was our recognition yet again as North East Apprentice Employer of the Year and our subsequent Highly Commended award at the National Apprenticeships Awards 2021.

Of course it’s satisfying to have two glossy new awards in the office and our name announced at a star-studded awards ceremony in London – but it’s actually the years and years of persistent and patient team culture that these represent that we are so proud of.

These awards belong to Tony Pearce whose careful recruiting, consistent personnel management and co-ordinating with teaching staff enables our apprentice programme to run so smoothly.

They also belong to our veteran tradesmen – highly skilled bricklayers, joiners and plumbers with years of experience who welcome new faces onto the team each September, both teaching directly and encouraging good workplace practice, supporting apprentices to learn from their early mistakes to become well-rounded tradespeople in their own right.

They also belong to the college tutors who regularly check in on our apprentices and enable us to make use of our apprentice’s time while they’re on site, knowing the theory is in place and any gaps in experience will be highlighted for us to review.

Mostly however, these belong to our many apprentices both past and present. A lot of our former apprentices are still with us and our six current apprentices are already trusted members of the team, every day gaining crucial experience that we hope they’ll pass on to future generations.

If you’re in the North East and are thinking of taking on an apprentice, to find out more about the day-to-day practicalities and the many ways in which apprentices could benefit your team, we recommend New College Durham’s Apprenticeships Team (email apprenticeships@newdur.ac.uk or call 0191 375 4040) or Optimum Skills in Newton Aycliffe, Gateshead or Middlesbrough (visit www.optimumskills.co.uk or email info@optimumskills.co.uk) who can explain exactly what’s involved and how to get started.