The number of people starting apprenticeships in Britain may have plunged, but an Amble-based company is bucking the trend.
Smailes Construction currently has six apprentices aged between 16 and 22, who are working towards Level 2 or 3 qualifications in joinery or brickwork, having been with the firm for between three months and more than two years.
As a small business, they represent more than 24 per cent of the permanent staff and are treated as full members of the team, enjoying the same training opportunities as all staff, in addition to their day release to college.
With a turnover of £3million, Smailes is a rapidly-growing construction business in the region and has just finished construction of a £1.2million new-build house in Rothbury.
The company believes it gives its apprentices ‘full and rounded training and education that will equip them to have successful careers in their chosen skill, within Smailes Construction’, seeing them as ‘an investment in our future workforce’.
The feedback has been positive too, with the apprentices saying they feel valued, their are learning a lot and it is the best way to start a career.