Kier set to create up to 130 apprenticeships in 2014
This announcement comes as the company celebrates the achievements of its 285 current apprentices across the UK during National Apprenticeship Week.
The new apprenticeship positions will build on the existing programmes offered by Kier through its construction, property and services divisions, which cover trades including: carpentry, bricklaying, plumbing, utility management, vehicle maintenance, plastering, painting and decorating.
Similarly, in 2014 Kier intends to recruit up to 24 additional trainees to its Construction Team Leader Apprenticeship, the first of its kind in the UK.
45 of Kier’s apprentices are employed on the industry-leading programme, which helped the company gain national recognition as Construction News Training Initiative of the Year 2013.
The scheme combines training in areas such as communication and decision making, alongside construction, and culminates in a highly transferable Level 2 NVQ with employment and further education opportunities for the best candidates.
Ian Dickerson, head of new entrants & funding, said, “We are delighted to be able to create these apprenticeship opportunities at Kier. We believe it is important to offer people an opportunity to develop their skills in a nurturing environment and to use what they learn as the foundation for long-term employment and a fulfilling career.
“Our award-winning apprenticeship schemes are aimed at all ages and abilities and provide a structured training scheme focused on delivering business and individual needs, while giving our employees the opportunity to gain valuable qualifications.”
In North Tyneside, for example, Kier has employed 14 apprentices in the past 12 months and has been recognised for its commitment to training and recruiting young people, being awarded Large Employer of the Year in the regional rounds of last year’s National Apprenticeship Awards and Highly Commended in the national finals.
The company was also included in the City & Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, recognising Kier for going the extra mile to help apprentices succeed and acknowledging it as a role model to other organisations.
Apprentice Jack Dolman joined Kier’s social housing repairs and maintenance contract with Gosport Borough Council in April 2013, and is currently working towards a level 1 diploma in plastering. Dolman's apprenticeship has offered him the opportunity to gain valuable experience, as well as the flexibility to attend college on day release.
Dolman explained, “Before Kier, I was in-between jobs and looking for a secure and stable opportunity and now with Kier I have it. With Kier, I hope to gain my level 2 diploma and an understanding of what it’s like to work in a multi-trade position, as well as developing better communication skills and gaining more confidence.”
“I really enjoy improving my trade and learning new skills as I go. Knowing I’m working for such a large company makes me feel I am supported.”
When asked about what advice he would offer others looking to become apprentices, Dolman added, “I would say believing in yourself is key once you have the opportunity of an apprenticeship you are able to learn a trade, which will then open doors to other opportunities.”