Two apprentice masters from William Davis Homes have commenced a county-wide ‘road show’ to recruit new apprentices.
Gary Long, mechanical and electrical manager and Dave King, bricklaying apprentice master will visit 13 schools and colleges across Leicestershire over the course of National Apprenticeship Week (6th-10th March) in a bid to discover the next generation of tradespeople. With eight placements available on William Davis’ award-winning scheme, Gary and Dave will be interviewing aspiring bricklayers, plumbers, electricians and carpenter/joiners.
“Applications for our 2017 intake exceeded expectations, with more than 80 youngsters interested in beginning a craft career,” said Gary, who is supervising recruitment. “During National Apprenticeship Week, we’ll be conducting initial interviews with successful applicants as well as explaining more about the scheme and the opportunities available.”
Successful apprentices undertake preliminary work experience including safety training before formerly registering with the CITB or JTL and commencing permanent employment in August 2017. One former apprentice, plumber, Stefan Bowler has recently completed a decade with William Davis, after commencing his training in the same year National Apprenticeship Week was first established.
Stefan said: “I started training as part of the 2006/2007 intake and completed my apprenticeship four years later. For the last five years, I’ve been mentoring new apprentice plumbers and am currently supervising first year, Isaac Harper on our Cricketers Green development in Loughborough. I think the popularity of apprenticeships has really grown since I started, in part because of the success stories you hear about but also because of the opportunity to earn and learn. It’s worked really well for my career and I’ve seen the same progression with the plumbers I mentor, so I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship.”
In addition to on-site practical training and their academic studies, William Davis apprentices are encouraged to participate in national competitions such as SkillBuild. Two current bricklaying apprentices, third year, Jake Dominy and first year, Max Harrington are training together for the regional heat, which takes place at Leicester College on 27th June.
“SkillBuild is an annual event by CITB which tests apprentices to find the champion of the trade,” said Jake. “Even though Max and I will enter different stages, we’re training together to practice the various skills like setting out obtuse angles, creating decorative features and the types of joint finishes. On the day we’ll be given a drawing to work to and a time limit to finish it; I’m excited to compete and hopefully have further opportunities with EuroSkills or WorldSkills as part of the UK team.”
William Davis currently employs 28 craft apprentices across its developments, each undertaking a three or four year programme to achieve an NVQ Level 3.
Main Image: Bricklaying apprentices, Max Harrington and Jake Dominy are currently practicing on site at Grange Park, Loughborough for SkillBuild 2017.