Committed to action: leading the construction sector in apprenticeship training

Carillion firmly believes that an apprenticeship system is vital to stimulate economic growth by developing the skills base and employability of young people.

Carillion is the largest employer of young apprentices in the construction sector, with almost 2,000 learners in training at any one time. In 2012, Carillion delivered 1,000 NVQs and apprenticeships in construction, with over 74% of its apprentices subsequently moving into employment. We were also awarded our fourth national contract with the National Apprenticeship Service to provide training through the Carillion Academy.

Ray Wilson, Director and General Manager of Carillion Training Services, in giving verbal evidence to the recent Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Enquiry into Apprenticeships, told the committee that the strategic purpose of apprenticeships should be simple and focus on skills:

“Apprenticeships are about having the right skills in the right place at the right time, and if we do not get that right, we cannot hope to grow as an economy.”

The Carillion Construction Apprenticeship Charter commits us to having 250 apprentices placed in Carillion businesses and our supply chain at any one time. Our apprenticeship programmes are widely recognised for their contribution to employability within local communities, for transforming the lives of young people, and for helping create a base of sustainable and skilled employees for the construction industry. All Carillion UK apprenticeships have satisfied Ofsted standards, with active improvement plans in place to deliver good ratings in future inspections.

In 2012, a challenging economic year for our sector, our apprenticeship programme grew even stronger, with highlights including:

  • hosting numerous ministerial and local MP visits to our flagship apprentice training centres
  • placing our 60th Carillion apprentice on the Library of Birmingham contract
  • securing modern apprenticeships places with Carillion for 12 young people from Glasgow, and giving them a helping hand onto the career ladder following their success on a Prince’s Trust training initiative – the Get into Construction programme, delivered by Carillion in partnership with industry training specialists TIGERS, gave the 12 previously unemployed young people aged between 17 and 20 a five-week hands-on training experience, covering the essentials of a career in the construction industry
  • being successfully re-appointed as the resident training provider on the King’s Cross Central regeneration project in London – our dedicated construction skills centre employs and trains over 100 local young apprentices each year, on behalf of the contractors working on this high-profile project
  • Carillion being highly commended by the UK Contractors Group Apprentice Employer of the Year 2011 for their contribution towards the training of apprentices
  • running various events to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, for example, at the Shotton Hall School Project in County Durham, we ran a Site Safety Toolbox Talk and a health and safety podcast.

When it comes to our apprenticeships programme, our work is never done. We are continually working towards our vision of providing high-quality, sustainable apprenticeship training that supports ever changing demands of the industry, and to be one of the most admired apprenticeship training organisations in the country.


Construction apprentices

Apprentice spotlight, Laura Baker

Laura Baker in the UK became one of the first apprentices to achieve her NVQ Level 2 in General Construction Operations.

After her apprenticeship with Carillion, Laura went on to secure full-time employment with a local firm.

“Carillion inspired me to keep going when things got tough and I am grateful to them for that. I enjoyed the college aspect of it also, as it kept strengthening my skills and provided a change of scene.”Laura Baker, Carillion Construction apprentice

“There is no doubt that finding work can be a challenge right now, and centres like this are vital to equip our young people with the skills, qualifications and the confidence that they need to succeed.”The Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, visiting Carillion’s Salford training centre in 2012

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