Thursday, August 22, 2013

News: New Rotherham apprentices at Willmott Dixon

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Five new apprentices from Rotherham have been taken on by repairs and maintenance company, Willmott Dixon.

They are part of a team of sixteen trainees from across the UK who are the first Willmott Dixon apprentices to use the £1m 4Life Academy in Aston, Birmingham.

Willmott Dixon works with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to deliver a repairs and maintenance service to 10,500 homes in the areas of Wentworth South, Wentworth Valley, Rother Valley West and Rother Valley South.

The new recruits will be studying a variety of construction trades ranging from bricklaying, plumbing, and carpentry to electrical compliance, as they work towards a recognised NVQ qualification that will pave the way for a career in the construction industry.

During their induction the apprentices, aged between 18 and 38, took part in health and safety workshops, scaffolding building exercises and team competitions. They also received a talk from volunteers at Dekamile, one of Willmott Dixon's sponsored charities that helps provide clean water, sanitation and improved infrastructure in Togo, Africa.
James Middleton, aged 19, from Bramley has just completed a two year plastering course at Rotherham College of Art and Technology, in Dinnington, and was eager to pursue the trade further by taking up an apprenticeship. He hopes that his experience doing a plastering apprenticeship with Willmott Dixon will provide him with the practical experience and trade skills to ensure a lifelong career.

James said: "I heard about Willmott Dixon's apprenticeship scheme through my older brother Daniel, who is now a fully qualified plasterer working at the Rotherham branch. I completed a short term work experience placement with Willmott Dixon last summer, shadowing my brother, and I really liked the way the company looked after their staff. It seemed like a fantastic working environment and I'm happy to be starting my trade journey with them now."

Huw Evans, head of customer service and training at Willmott Dixon, said: "We're very excited to welcome our first ever class of apprentices to the 4Life Academy. By using the centre as a hub for our apprenticeship training we want to bring all our trainees together under the new Skills 4 Life model, to make the most of the excellent facilities available here in Birmingham.

"We want to create a sense of pride and camaraderie among all our apprentices. The new Skills 4 Life scheme focuses on personal development alongside professional development, through community engagement activities and charitable fundraising. It is an innovative approach to apprenticeship training and embodies Willmott Dixon's ethos of giving something back to the local community."

The Willmott Dixon 4Life Academy is a £1m investment to provide training and lifelong skills to 2,000 people a year.

Mick Williamson, managing director at Willmott Dixon Partnerships, said: "Our company is committed to leaving a lasting legacy in the communities where we work – and this includes helping to improve employability skills amongst individuals. Our apprenticeship programme allows people to gain access to training so that they can learn the skills required to gain experience and employment in the building industry."

Willmott Dixon website

Images: Willmott Dixon

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