Despite a backdrop of industry talent shortages, apprenticeships are thriving at Polypipe Building Services
With 266,000 extra workers needed within the construction sector by 2026 according to the Construction Industry Training Board, employers are being urged to use apprenticeships as a vehicle to home grow the people they need – a tactic that is reaping dividends for Polypipe Building Services.
The Kent-based drainage system company has found success using apprenticeships not only as a means of attracting new talent into the company and giving people their first step on the career ladder, but also to support staff looking to upskill or change roles.
Luke Pollington and Kim Gleadhill are among 12 apprentices currently at Polypipe Building Services, after the company began taking on apprentices to drive a transfer of skills and knowledge which support the growth of the business.
Luke Pollington said: “Working here has changed my view of construction, as I never thought something like drainage would involve subjects like Building Information Modelling (BIM) or Research and Development (R&D) and I’ve found it really interesting.
“On the digital side it’s opened my eyes in terms of how different learning the theory has been to actually doing it in practice. When you apply it in the real world there’s so much more to think about and having a team around to help you makes a difference.”
Kim Gleadhill added: “Training is supported here and there is a learning culture. I began my course in January and I get a lot out of studying, as there are 10-15 other women on the course and we talk about the different ways of doing things which helps you to look at things differently and not get too set in your way of doing things.”
Andy Cullum, managing director at Polypipe Building Services, said: “We are a proud member of The Genuit Group 5% Club – which means we aim to have at least 5% of our workforce in sponsored training, graduate schemes or apprenticeships at all times.
“Apprenticeships are a great way for businesses to foster a culture of continuous development through a mixture of on the job training and a structured college courses which allows people to apply their skills as they learn them.
“Not only does it help our employees feel valued and more confident in their work, but as a business it helps us to maintain high standards, as well as develop and grow from the fresh ideas they bring back to Polypipe.”