As a business that has been offering training opportunities for more than four decades, we are proud to support National Apprenticeship Week. Continuing the ‘Build the Future’ theme, we will be shining the spotlight on some of our latest trainees and apprentices – and how they are helping our Group to thrive.

Over the past 12 months, we have recruited a carpentry trade apprentice plus two trainees who are now building a career in quantity surveying. That brings our total to seven with each person playing a key role in helping us to strengthen and grow the business. We are also seeking to recruit two more management apprentices and trainees later this year, together with an accountancy trainee.

This aim is part of our commitment to The 5% Club, an industry-led initiative. This will see us raise the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to over five per cent of our total workforce

My passion for training the next generation stems from my own experience when I first started out in construction. I was fortunate to train with one of London’s largest building contractors at the time, a firm called Trollope and Colls (now Skanska UK). The skills I learnt were so beneficial that since setting up Diamond Build in 1977, I have committed to giving people the same opportunity that I had.

Along the way, I have also learnt that training and education should not be limited by age or time. Everyone should be given the chance to improve their career prospects whether you are a trade apprentice, student, or someone who wants to change career.

An apprenticeship should just be the start. Continual training for people at all levels and in all roles is crucial. This has been key to our success and one of the reasons why we achieved an Investors in People Gold award in 2021.

Reflecting on our focus on training, Diamond Education Service forms part of our Group and is led by Dr Linda Prince, an educationalist and former Director of Education at Ealing Council. This team enables us to build closer ties with several local schools and offer work experience to youngsters coming out of the education system.

Now that lockdown restrictions have lifted, we are looking forward to becoming more directly involved with schools, attending careers fairs and giving talks to young people about the huge number of job opportunities in construction.

As we step into National Apprenticeship Week, we look forward to sharing more insights into our commitment to training and the views of our apprentices and trainees. If anything inspires you to learn while you earn in our dynamic sector, we would love to hear from you.

John Gray, Chairman of Diamond Build Group

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