Why Do An Apprenticeship Within Construction?

Published on 23rd June 2021
Avonside Group SHEQ Manager Sarah Burke helped answer the question: "why do an apprenticeship, by speaking at Apprenticeships: Be Inspired

Our Group SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment, and Quality) Manager, Sarah Burke, enjoyed delivering a 15-minute presentation at the Apprenticeships: Be Inspired afternoon panel on 17th June.

The free online panel event hosted by Opportunity Sheffield, comprised of a presentation from each of the employers, including Avonside Group and Galliford Try, then an engaging Q&A at the end.

This meant young people attending could pose questions to Sarah and other experts about their industry, existing opportunities, and career paths in general.

A Variety of Disciplines

After covering who Avonside Group are and what we do, Sarah was keen to highlight the sheer variety of apprenticeships available to people within construction as many people mistakenly and automatically think Avonside Group only offers roofing apprenticeships. In reality, we welcome any individual as an apprentice who has a positive approach, is keen to learn and demonstrates that they can start and complete tasks when asked. Sarah explained that we can off-site roles such as apprenticeships in:

  • Fiannce
  • Administation
  • Estimating
  • Management Trainees
  • IT
  • HR

Sarah emphasised how all these departments are essential to the running of our business.

Not Just Roofing

Also eager to stress that Avonside Group is made up of other divisions, Sarah introduced our Plumbing and Heating, Energy and Renewables divisions, explaining that they also take apprentices.

She mentioned that our Head of HR, Emma Callacher is currently devising a plan which will address how we can increase the number of apprentices we have across our four divisions.

Unlimited Potential to Achieve

Many qualifications can be gained through apprenticeship courses including:

  • AAT in accounting
  • Level 2 in Slating and Tiling for Roofers
  • Level 3 in Admin
  • Level 3 and Level 6 Construction Site Operations
  • and more!

Sarah talked the young attendees through all the above as many are not aware of the recognised qualifications apprenticeships can help them accomplish.

Overall, the session was interactive, with Sarah being asked things like “what qualities would you look for in an apprentice”.

Degree Apprenticeships

Galliford Try’s representative and Corporate Responsibility Manager, Rebecca Caunce explored another reason why doing an apprenticeship is a good idea. She spoke about her opportunities with a degree apprenticeship and how that can be an alternative to just attending university. Advantages include getting valuable on-the-job experience and a wage at the same time, plus a degree paid for by the company you work for.

Investing in Apprentices

According to Sheffield City Council’s IAG/Apprenticeship Adviser Emily Hornblower, who organised the event, Sarah’s presentation was interesting, giving a broad outlook of the opportunities available within construction, but not necessarily construction related.

“The session was great – we were really happy with it. Sarah provided a high level of detail about Avonside as a company, highlighting the variety of roles within the company and the reasons why they are a desirable employer to work for.

“The information was clear and easy for Y10+ students to understand, which is a key requirement for something like this. We had some positive feedback about the questions Sarah answered, and how informative the session was overall. One of the things we push with students is that construction isn’t just about the trades involved; a real positive is that all of the construction employers to take part, including Sarah, reinforced this and showcased how vast ‘construction’ as a sector really is.

“From Sarah’s session, it was obvious the level of investment Avonside put into apprentices and the potential opportunities available for those starting their early careers there.

“I want to thank you again Sarah for taking the time to be involved in Be Inspired this year, and we really hope that we’ll be back in person next year!”