It’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) and as a business that’s been hiring apprentices for four decades, we’ve enjoyed showing our support.
I’m passionate about training and offering opportunities to people at all levels whether that’s a trade apprentice, student, or someone who wants to change their career. The time apprentices spend with our company is incredibly valuable and helps bring our teams to life.
As a business owner, you have to accept there will be some who will eventually leave the company. However, that’s often a natural progression, reflecting the skills you’ve helped them to build. Many of our past apprentices have gone on to become senior directors in building companies, some have started their own business, and there are others who have returned to work for us – indeed one is now a Director of Diamond Special Works.
Our trainees are involved in a wide variety of roles, supporting teams across our business and making a huge difference. We currently have eight apprentices working towards recognised qualifications in quantity surveying, plumbing, IT, accounting, and office administration.
Two will finish their training this year and continue to be part of our team helping us to expand and build our business. We’re also seeking to recruit more apprentices, including quantity surveyors / commercial managers, construction managers, carpenters and administrators.
Courses can be anything from one to five years but of course, we never stop learning in life, so an apprenticeship is just the start. That’s why we’re Investors In People and continually train all our staff in topics ranging from new computer systems and building regulations through to materials and safety processes to make sure we keep on top of industry change.
Reflecting our commitment to training, we set up a specialist company four years ago called Diamond Education Service, heading up by Dr Linda Prince an educationalist and former Director of Education at Ealing Council. This has enabled us to build closer ties with a number of local schools allowing us to offer work experience to youngsters coming out of the education system.
Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, we’re looking forward to becoming more directly involved with schools again, attending careers fairs and giving talks to young people about the huge number of opportunities in construction. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping the momentum going through virtual opportunities and continuing to support our current apprentices to help them be the best they can be.
Throughout NAW, keep an eye on our social media channels for more insights into our commitment to training at Diamond Build Group, including thoughts from members of our senior team as well as our trainees.
And if you’re thinking of starting a career in construction and the chance to learn while you work and earn, we’d love to hear from you.
John Gray, chairman of Diamond Build Group