Century For Group’s Apprentice Scheme

7 May 2015

The Costain Apprenticeship Programme passed the century mark in April, as 10 new apprentices were recruited for the A465 Heads of the Valleys road project in South Wales.

There are now more than 100 apprentices, aged between 17 and 35 in the business, with numbers continuing to rise.

“At the moment we’ve been made aware of 65 vacancies that have to be recruited by September and 36 of those have so far been filled,” said Apprenticeship Manager, Caroline Towner.

The rise in numbers has come about due to increased awareness within the Group of the existence of the apprenticeship scheme and the benefits it brings, she said.

“For me, apprentices are keen, enthusiastic, they want to move forward, and want to please and achieve. They bring fresh ideas and new ways of thinking.” The apprenticeships are currently being delivered across 21 different disciplines, including steel-fixing, formworking and bricklaying, along with technical disciplines.

Elsewhere, “We’ve even introduced community relations apprenticeships. There are two young women working towards a community relations/public relations framework at the moment.

“The apprenticeship scheme itself is also expanding, with the introduction of the Higher Apprenticeship, which includes the Higher National Diploma (HND) and Level 5 NVQ in Management and Sustainability. This allows for a clear progression route, taking the apprentice through to foundation degree level.”

The existing apprenticeships can last anywhere from one to four years, depending on the discipline. The new Higher Apprenticeships add another two to two-and-a-half years to those figures.

"The apprenticeship landscape is constantly evolving," said Caroline. "That's one of the aspects that makes it most interesting, both in terms of creating new ways of attracting people into the industry and because of the benefits it brings to companies like Costain. Looking into the future, there will be more and more jobs that will benefit from these new entry routes.

"Who would have thought, just a few years ago, for example, that you could get a formal qualification at the outset of a career in public relations, rather than just starting as a very junior staff member and learning the ropes 'on the job'.

"It's an exciting time for apprenticeships and it's great that Costain is so enthusiastic about its involvement in them."





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