Walters – Investing in Apprenticeships

ApprenticesFollowing a recent analysis by the CITB, it was declared that the building industry needs 120,000 apprentices over the next 5 years to fill an emerging skills gap across the UK. On the back of this, a commission has been set-up to investigate the quality of apprenticeships in the construction industry and the number of people taking up the training programmes to ensure the sector has enough skilled workers.

At Walters, we recognize that at their best, apprenticeships help people learn from others, build a sense of vocation and help deliver work of real quality. We are committed to enabling the CITB’s cause of concern to de-materialise.

In 2012, Sam Knowles joined Walters UK as an Apprentice Quantity Surveyor as part of the Heads of the Valleys Apprenticeship Scheme created to target young people living within the Valleys catchment areas. This scheme was a new initiative created and overseen by EC Harris who are engaged by the Welsh Government to act as their representatives on the A465 Dualling Projects.

Sam recently completed his apprenticeship where he gained a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in construction and NVQ Level 3 in Surveying. This was attained via day release where he studied at Ystrad Mynach college one day a week with the remaining four working days spent working across the business.

During this tenure, Sam was highly commended in the CECA Wales Most Promising Apprentice Award 2014.

Sam has now commenced part time study toward attaining a degree in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management at the University of South Wales, where he will again follow a day release route over 5 years.

Sam commented “I consider myself to be fortunate to be associated with the apprenticeship scheme. In my eyes, an apprenticeship is by far the most beneficial method of kick starting a career in the construction industry as you are given the opportunity to gain a vast variety of experience in both an office and site based environment. The apprenticeship career path also has huge financial advantages as you are taking home a salary and you do not have to suffer the millstone of typical student loan/debt. Throughout my two years at Walters, I have been fortunate to have had the support and guidance of the Estimating Department, various Project Quantity Surveyor’s, my current Project team colleagues, along with the constant professional guidance off our Managing Quantity Surveyor who also acts as my mentor. This support and guidance is something that is not available and cannot be readily attained through the more formal full-time education route”.

In line with Walters commitment to apprenticeships, and following on from Sam’s success, we have recently recruited two further apprentices, Callum Morgan and Joe Meeke, who have joined us as an Apprentice Civil Engineering Technician and an Apprentice Quantity Surveyor respectively. Both Callum and Joe live locally within the Valleys catchment area and both underwent a thorough assessment of their capabilities and career aspirations by EC Harris prior to being shortlisted for selection by Walters

Under the Heads of the Valleys Apprenticeship Scheme, they will both embark on a similar course of study to Sam and hopefully will progress to study at University attaining a degree in their respective pathways and become a valuable asset to both Walters and the UK construction sector.