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Willis Construction go the extra mile to support our apprentice’s learning!

31st July 2020

Willis Construction have gone to great lengths recently to accommodate Y Prentis apprentice, Zak Clarkson aged 22, to learn to use his new tools safely, whilst adhering to the social distancing guidelines put in place for sites throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Willis expressly set up a separate training area on their site at Brecon Magistrates Court, which they are developing into a housing development for Melin Homes, to accommodate Zak and his new tools. This area allows for the qualified carpenters, who would under normal circumstance provide hands-on training, to supervise and assist Zak from a safe distance.

Paul Cachia, Health Safety and Training Manager for the company says, “Willis Construction has a policy of actively encouraging young people to work in our industry. During COVID-19 it has been extremely difficult to train and support our trainees and apprentices, however with the help and assistance of the site management teams, we have managed to put systems in place to overcome the unique set of problems that the COVID pandemic has created”.

Zak has been busy since returning to site life. Along-side gaining his NVQ evidence, he has been using his time on site to further his learning with power tools and equipment not included within his qualification. Zak purchased a whole new array of cordless power tools, including a chop saw, hinge saw, jigsaw and bench saw, after saving up his wages to do so. Zak says, “I purchased my new tools because the more tools I have, the more learning I can do, and ultimately, the more jobs I’ll be able to complete”. Zak used his time on furlough to study certain roles and practices at home and felt that he was well equipped to learn these techniques when he returned to site.

Zak returned to the Brecon Magistrates Court site in June this year and has high praise for his contracting hosts, “After Coronavirus, it has been hard to get the correct training for certain jobs on site, but Willis has been great with providing me with training. It’s a great experience and I’m enjoying every day on site!”. According to Paul Cachia, Zak has a bright future ahead of him, commenting that “Zak’s enthusiasm and work ethic is a great asset and I feel he will become an excellent tradesman.”