SOUTH Birmingham College helps businesses build a future. It has become the go-to place for many local and regional businesses when they start thinking about recruiting an apprentice to their organisation. From small local businesses to household names such as National Express, Specsavers and Kier Group, South Birmingham College has been able to provide the advice and support needed.
Kier Partnership Homes, which is part of the Kier integrated construction, social housing and property services group, turned to South Birmingham College when they decided to recruit 14 apprentices as part of a project and they have never looked back since.
Kier, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, wanted to recruit the apprentices for phase 1 of a new housing project in the Egghill area of Birmingham. This was in line with the corporate commitment of the organisation to provide local training and employment opportunity linked to all its social housing projects
They took on the apprentices in a range of construction trades including groundwork, carpentry, plastering, brickwork, plumbing and business administration for an affordable housing project in partnership with Birmingham City Council.
Anne Pounds, Apprenticeship Manager at Kier, said: “It was planned from the outset that apprentices would play a key role in this project; but they exceeded our expectations and were very quickly valuable members of the project team.
“The apprentices were a really good group of young people, in fact I have been working with apprentices for over ten years and this was one of the best groups that I have come across. They all came from very different backgrounds but they forged a very supportive network with one another.
“The quality of their work was high and they were eager to learn and to do whatever they could to help – they would always lend a hand to anything that needed doing on site. The site team also had a very positive experience with the apprentices and worked closely with them. During the project, we engaged with the local community and the apprentices played an important role in creating a good impression for local residents. South Birmingham College provided us with a unique and refreshing service, and unlike other providers were there every step of the way providing advice, help and support. Our Business Consultant was excellent and helped right from the beginning with providing areas for interviewing and screening, but was then available throughout the whole programme, helping with any problems or issues. We always felt that we were strongly supported, and I know the apprentices themselves felt supported by the college too.
“Apprenticeships are a great asset to any business. I know for small businesses there is a worry that they will take up too much time but in my experience the time initially invested in an apprentice is worth it as you very quickly start to see the rewards.
“For the construction industry, apprentices are the future and will play a key role in avoiding a skills gap in the coming years.
“I would definitely recommend working with South Birmingham College – they really go the extra mile.”
If you are an employer interested in taking on an apprentice with South Birmingham College, call 0800 731 3467 for information and advice. If you are thinking of becoming an apprentice, go to www.sbc.ac.uk call 0121 694 5000 or email email@example.com for more information.