With nine current apprentices working within its team, on top of those who have already completed their training, Emplas has said apprentices are key to its long-term growth strategy.
The skills shortage is consistently cited as one of the key challenges facing not only the window and door industry but the UK construction and manufacturing sectors as a whole.
Emplas is working to address this deficit through its now established apprenticeship scheme, which has already seen four apprentices successfully graduate into permanent roles within the business.
With a further nine apprentices starting or nearing completion of their training, Emplas’ HR Manager Judith Chadwick, said that apprenticeships were critical to the fabricator’s longterm strategy.
She said: “Apprentices are absolutely key in supporting our plans for the future. The challenges in recruitment are well documented nationally and also within our own industry.
“There aren’t hundreds of people to choose from with a ready-made skills set. Finding people who fit in with our culture, who have the right attitude and who are able and willing to learn, is much more important to us.”
Emplas apprenticeships are delivered through a mix of on the job and 20% ‘off the job’ training as required by legislation, including college release, assessments and coursework, for a minimum 12-months or longer, depending on the role and training provider.
Current and former apprenticeships have included roles as diverse as HR, IT, Marketing, Sales Co-ordinator, customer service, as well as installation apprenticeships with T&K Home Improvement’s, Emplas retail business and marketing test-bed.
Julia-Ann Robinson, joined T&K as Installations Co-ordinator, completing her Level 2 and Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship over the last 18 months.
She said: “Doing an apprenticeship while you’re working, gives you a level of exposure that you just wouldn’t get through classroom-based training.
“I came away with a really full understanding of all of the elements and roles needed to run a successful retail business from sales through to installation, picking up key skills that I continue to use and develop as I move forward in my career.”
According to government figures, employers who have an established apprenticeship programme report that productivity in their workplace improved by 76%. Meanwhile, 75% said that apprenticeships improved the quality of their product or service, alongside other advantages including improved morale and retention.
Judith added: “If you’re an installation business and are prepared to invest a little time and resource into their development, apprenticeships are a great way of building a team which will move your business forward into the future.
“We’re also happy to share our experience and learning points with any of our customers who are considering launching their own schemes.
“We’d also be delighted to hear from anybody, considering an apprenticeship and looking to get their careers off to a flying start.”