The benefits of apprenticeships in the construction industry

Often when finishing college or sixth form, one route to take is attending university, however, apprenticeships are an exciting option to take, especially in the construction industry.

As this week marks National Apprenticeship Week, we caught up with Wolseley’s Apprenticeship Lead Joanna Shipley, and recently graduated apprentice, Kyle Robison, to learn all about the benefits of opting for this hands-on career route and their top tips if you’re thinking about completing one yourself.

What are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship programme?

Joanna Shipley: The list is endless. You gain the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required to succeed in your job role whilst being fully supported by your allocated coach within the business. It’s a key way to enhance your career and your own development.

Kyle Robinson: The main benefit I would say is the classic one — having both work experience and education at the same time is invaluable. It really is the ideal opportunity to springboard a career.

What is the Wolseley apprenticeship programme and what does it offer?

Joanna Shipley: Here at Wolseley, we offer apprenticeships to all of our colleagues. Twice per year, during our performance review period, colleagues can have discussions with their line manager and agree on a route for their development. At this point, they have the opportunity to opt-in to complete an apprenticeship. We have over 45 different qualifications to choose from, although the chosen programme must be relative to their job role.

We then also recruit apprentices into our business, just like Kyle who joined us in the Wolseley Infrastructure department as an apprentice transport planner.

What does the Wolseley Infrastructure apprenticeship involve?

Kyle Robinson: My apprenticeship helped me work towards a level 3 business administration qualification. After an initial induction to the business, I started to learn the ins and outs of our transport system. I also spent time in various roles throughout the company, visiting other depots and getting to learn how they worked. My work was mostly divided into four days on the job and another completing the required coursework. This is a particularly important factor as it gave me time to work towards my qualification.

During my time as an apprentice we managed to visit customer sites which gave me insight into how the products Wolseley sell are used and it was really interesting seeing it all in action.

What advice would you offer to budding professionals looking to do an apprenticeship programme?

Joanna Shipley: Apprenticeships are an excellent way to shape your career in a way that suits you. You get to learn while you work and through a little time investment. With hard work, and dedication you can really excel in your career. An apprenticeship is open to any age group, from 16, right up to 70! So, if you’re fresh out of college, wanting to start your career, or a little more mature looking for a new start and change of career it’s an option for everyone.

Kyle Robinson: If you are thinking of doing an apprenticeship I would simply say go for it. It’s a unique experience that will put you on good footing for the future. It’s important to allocate time to do your coursework, so make sure your manager is confident they can give you that time.

Wolseley currently has a recruitment drive with over 30 apprentice positions available across the country from sales advisor to technical coordinator. Find out more here.