Recruiting flexi-job apprentices

Esh Construction partners with Efficiency North to recruit flexi-job apprentices.

Seven new apprentices are settling into their new roles within Esh Construction after being recruited via the award-winning Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Service provided by EN:Able Futures.

Bricklayers, joiners, and a trainee site manager are among the new starters who have been welcomed across Esh’s affordable housing sites in the region.

The investment in new talent will assist with both future growth plans for Esh and combatting the industry skills shortage. Employed as Flexi-Job apprentices by EN:Able Futures – managed by Efficiency North – the recruits will receive a full package of support alongside their work and education.

Trainee site manager, Dan Vokes, took the first step towards a career in site management after he secured his apprenticeship in July this year. While working across two projects for Esh Construction – an 82-home development known as Pemberton Road in Castleford and a 105-home scheme in Beech Hill, Halifax – Dan will study a Level 4 Site Supervisor apprenticeship standard at Leeds College of Building.
Dan’s interest in construction came by chance while labouring on sites in the summer break. He said: “From school I’d never really had an insight into the construction industry. However, my friends who secured apprenticeships seemed to be progressing quicker and gaining more life skills, as well as earning a wage whilst doing something they enjoyed. Working whilst learning is a great opportunity for a young person because it means you can apply in the workplace everything you learn at college – I decided this would be a better route for me.”

Esh Construction is one of the largest privately-owned construction businesses operating across Yorkshire and the Humber, North East and Tees Valley. The contractor has more than £50m of affordable housing schemes spread across all corners of the Yorkshire region and is keen to invest in its workforce of the future.

“It is vitally important to both the industry and the growth of Esh that we continue to invest in apprentices and trainees, enabling them to pursue long-term careers in the construction industry.”

Darush Dodds, Director of Corporate Affairs at Esh Construction.

Hummersea Hills Loftus

“Working alongside Efficiency North and EN:Able Futures allows us to provide a well-rounded training experience while ensuring the recruits receive pastoral and educational support, should they need it. We are working collaboratively towards the same end goal – there is a clear skills shortage in the industry and Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agencies will help bridge this gap by training and developing talented individuals for the future.”

Employing apprentices via Efficiency North’s EN:Able Futures programme ensures the individuals remain employed for the full duration of their apprenticeship, making it easier for businesses to take on an apprentice and reducing the risk of displacement.

Julie Deeley, Director of Operations at EN:Able Futures, said: “Working with Esh Construction provides so many opportunities for developing apprenticeships across a whole spectrum of career pathways in the construction industry.

“What makes our Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Service so successful is our expertise around providing each individual with tailored employment support. We go far beyond simply finding people to fill a vacancy, we pride ourselves on facilitating the right conditions that allow our apprentices to thrive in their new roles.”

Speaking about the benefits of his apprenticeship, Dan added: “My Development Coach at EN:Able Futures helped me a lot at the beginning to find the type of apprenticeship I wanted to do, and has always been there for me when I’ve needed advice.

“Since joining Esh I’ve gained so much confidence, experience and knowledge doing this apprenticeship and working in an adult environment, stuff you can’t learn in a classroom. I’ve also learnt a lot about professional values in terms of things like respect and punctuality that will stay with me throughout my career.”

Hummersea Hills Loftus

EN:Able Futures in action

Through the EN:Able Futures Flexi-job Apprenticeship Service, 21 year old Dan started his Level 4 Site Supervision Apprenticeship with Esh Construction earlier this year. He is helping to supervise the build of 105 family homes for Efficiency North member Together Housing Group at a site in Beech Hill, Halifax, as well as the 82-home Pemberton Road scheme in Castleford.

Dan has a history of working within the trade side of the industry and wished to progress into the professional/managerial side. He said: “I first became interested in construction as a career while supporting Site Manager’s with health and safety on a labouring job I did during my holidays between college and university.”

With support from managers at Esh Construction, Dan was put in contact with Hannah Norton, a Development Coach at EN:Able Futures, she said:

“As a Development Coach I work with individual apprentices on a one-to-one basis to make sure any issues they may face are tackled effectively, whether it is encouragement in the work-place, help to understand their academic requirements or support around a more personal need.”

“Hannah helped me a lot at the beginning when I was deciding what type of apprenticeship would suit my career aspirations, and she has always been there for me if need any advice,” added Dan.

“Since I started in June, I have completed a Face Fit test qualification and will be starting my Site Management Safety Training Scheme soon (SMSTS) which I need to manage a site.

“I only wish I’d looked for an apprenticeship straight out of school, because you are learning so much more whilst working on the job. There’s lots of opportunities and a lot of experience is passed down from those I work with.

“I’ve been given a lot of responsibility too, which is good, because it chucks you in the deep end as it were, and sometimes that’s the best way to learn skills quickly.”

Get involved with EN:Able Futures

The team at EN:Able Futures brings together many years’ practical experience of working in the built environment, employment and education sectors to deliver real, sustainable social outcomes on the ground. We draw upon best practice from across these sectors and use the expertise of our partners to develop apprenticeships fit for purpose that provide a tailored career pathway for each apprentice.

Our Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Service is the ideal solution for employers in Northern England who may not have the resources or pipeline of work to commit to taking on a long-term apprentice.

We employ apprentices for the full duration of their apprenticeship, making it easy for businesses to benefit from having an apprentice, and for the apprentice to gain valuable experience that will set up them with a career for life.

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