8 New Drylining Apprenticeships commence through Y Prentis, despite challenges imposed on the construction industry by Covid-19 and Brexit
Despite the construction industry having to contend with pressures imposed on it by both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit (with stock shortages and price increases resulting in numerous projects being pushed back), shared apprenticeship scheme Y Prentis has proven to be an effective solution for apprenticeship recruitment, during these difficult times.
Notwithstanding, main contractors and their supply chains are required to meet their social value commitments and hiring apprentices via the traditional route has become more challenging, predominantly due to a lack of visibility in their future pipelines (with some contractors displacing apprentices due to the Covid-19 pandemic). More recent changes to the procurement of Apprenticeship schemes in Wales has resulted in contractors having to undertake more of the onerous tasks of directly being responsible for overseeing and managing the apprentices, as well as processing their own grant claims going forward.
The shared apprenticeship model, provided by Y Prentis, has proven to be a more appealing and viable solution for contractors, by mitigating the risks involved with the full traditional apprenticeship route and the hassle of recruiting and managing a full-time apprentice. This appeal is evident in that Y Prentis managed to secure a total of four #yprentishosts to mentor and develop their 2021 Cohort of 8 drylining apprentices.
Both C W Facilities Management and Bristol-based company, Top Fix Interiors Ltd, are hosing their first apprentice through Y Prentis; while J&B Plastering Ltd and TJ Services (UK) Ltd, opting to add drylining apprentices to complement their existing cohort of trade apprentices (also acquired through Y Prentis); and one long-standing host, Richard Kemble Contracts Ltd, who has taken on another drylining apprentice this year, with an eye out for placing more in January 2022, when their current cohort of five drylining apprentices, complete their apprenticeships with Y Prentis.
Trini Jones, Managing Director of TJ Services (UK) Ltd, who recently offered a Y Prentis tiling apprentice, Samuel Newton, a full-time position upon completing his apprenticeship, said: “Our experience of working in partnership with Y Prentis has been effortless and very professional. They have not only assisted us in closing the skills gap in the construction industry, by training another youth, but they have also assisted us in expanding our own workforce. It's been a win-win situation for everyone involved and we are definitely going to host more apprentices through Y Prentis in the future.”
James Perks (34), who started with J&B Plastering, said: “I left Sky as an engineer and was looking to do an apprenticeship and came across an opportunity with Y Prentis as a Dryliner. After looking into it, it looked very interesting and I decided to go for it. I have always wanted to learn new skills in a trade as I love building and fixing things. I hope to learn Drylining and Carpentry so that I can install a wide variety of things and take on a variety of things.”
Elis Matthews (20), who also started with J&B Plastering, said: “I have been labouring for a plastering company for last 2 years and decided to pursue a career and specialise in Drylining and believe that an apprenticeship will allow me to achieve this goal. I hope to work on a different sites and hope this will allow me to learn new skills within the industry.”
Assistant Programme Manager at Y Prentis, Nicola Murray, , said: “Team Y Prentis worked tirelessly throughout the summer to source and recruit the finest quality apprentices for our hosts. This years’ recruitment process proved more challenging than previous years due to many sites being postponed, resulting in fewer sites, dispersed over a greater geographical area. We had to more carefully take into consideration the apprentice’s geographical location and their mobility to adhere to our ‘Local jobs for local people’ ethos. It is also reassuring to see more and more companies recognising the benefits of our shared apprenticeship model. I am extremely proud of what we have managed to accomplish under the current climate”.
The apprentices have all started their two-year long apprenticeship course at the beginning of this month, at Coleg y Cymoedd and their on-site placements will be carried out across the south-east Wales region. The course will provide them with the opportunity to gain the necessary work experience, while spending one-day a week at Coleg y Cymoedd studying towards a Level 2 Diploma in Interior Systems and an NVQ Level 2 in Drylining. The course will cover a range of subjects, ensuring students learn the construction skills and working knowledge they need to work as a dryliner. They will also learn about health, safety and welfare within the construction industry and gain an understanding of different construction technologies.
As part of their employment with Y Prentis, the apprentices participated in a group induction which provided them with toolkits worth over £200, all their essential PPE, and the essential information they need to be successful in their apprenticeship as well as prepare them for their college and first experience on-site.
For more information about apprenticeships, you can email Y Prentis: firstname.lastname@example.org