Building a future for apprentices

Apprentices with David Jackson and Sir Greg Knight
Apprentices with David Jackson and Sir Greg Knight

A Bridlington company’s bid to increase the number of apprenticeships offered by the construction industry looks set to have helped 100 young workers by the end of the year.

Hudson Contract held a celebration evening at Bridlington Spa last Friday to promote its scheme and reward some of the outstanding apprentices who have already benefited.

The award-winners at Friday's ceremony

The award-winners at Friday's ceremony

The company has paid 50% of the wages of 80 apprentices in their first year of training, and plans to work with 20 more in 2017.

Hudson Contract founder and chairman David Jackson said: “We are passionate about ensuring young people have every opportunity to begin a career in construction.

“We recognised several years ago that there is a real need to develop places for apprentices which is why we created our apprenticeship programme.

“The introduction this year of a new national apprenticeship levy and training service is very welcome, but it will not be enough on its own. We would really like to see other companies in the region offer a sponsorship scheme like ours, which has proven to be successful.

Bridlington SPA.
Construction apprentice awards.
Picture by Paul Atkinson:
NBFP PA1704-11d
Danielle sharpe

Bridlington SPA. Construction apprentice awards. Picture by Paul Atkinson: NBFP PA1704-11d Danielle sharpe

“The scheme is really simple – and it has to be, to ensure there’s plenty of take-up in an area where only a handful of construction firms have more than five employees.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who joined us at the event last week, and to congratulate all the apprentices who have participated in our scheme, especially those who won prizes on the night.”

Apprentices were asked to write about how the scheme had given them a head-start in the industry, with another Bridlington firm, West BS, giving hundreds of pounds of vouchers to the four best.

The overall winner was 19-year-old Danielle Sharpe, who is training to be a plumber in Scarborough, working alongside her stepfather Craig Butcher.

The top appentices with David Jackson, Sir Greg Knight and Chris West

The top appentices with David Jackson, Sir Greg Knight and Chris West

She said: “People are always quite shocked when they find out I am a plumber. I was the only girl in my class when I started in September.

“I am going to college, learning all the legislation and background and then going on site and sdoing it all first-hand.

“I had always fancied the construction industry and had thought about mechanics but I was a bit put off in case I felt uncomfortable or unsuitable.

“But now I wish I had started when I was 16.”

Electrical apprentice Ben Dolan, budding carpenter and joiner Regan Hewitt and joinery apprentice Jordan Forsdyke also picked up prizes at the ceremony.

They received their vouchers from Bridlington MP Sir Greg Knight.

He said: The construction industry is very important to our growing and thriving economy.

“Apprentices are important because one of the saddest things in life is seeing someone who has not achieved their full potential. For far too long we have pushed people towards academic qualifications and produced far too many lawyers and the penny has finally dropped about the value placed on apprenticeships.

“Three cheers for Hudson Contract for giving priority to local apprentices in and around Bridlington.”

The dinner at the Spa was attended by school and college career advisors and construction industry professionals, as well as prospective apprentices, who were able to find out more about pursuing a career in construction.

To find out more or to apply for the Hudson Contract Apprentice Sponsorship Scheme visit: http://www.hudsoncontract.co.uk/why-hudson/apprenticeships/