Crown Highways | National Apprenticeship week discussion: Are we bridging the skills gap?
‘The skills gap’. We’ve heard it for years. But what does it actually mean? And how are we actually looking to solve the problem? Enter Apprenticeship schemes.
Many employers are creating opportunities via apprenticeship schemes to bridge the long standing skills gap, and introduce a younger generation of people into the highways sector.
Crown Highways is one company recognising the importance of preparing for, as well as simply preparing the next generation of professionals.
Crown is a member of ‘The 5% Club’ – a collaborative movement in conjunction with employers who are committed to introducing more apprentices in order to develop their workforce.
By joining The 5% Club, members aim to achieve 5% of their workforce to be apprentices within 5 years of becoming a member.
Just 2 years into their commitment, and now with 9 apprentices within the business, Crown has exceeded the 5% mark already, providing apprenticeship opportunities across many different areas of the business.
These areas include:
- Quantity Surveying
- Project Management
- Business Management
- Office Management
Crown value the positive impact and contributions that the apprentices make to the workplace whilst they are learning and gaining skills on the job, and with an outstanding retention rate of 93%, it seems that Crown apprentices equally value the opportunities that Crown Highways provides.
We spoke with a number of Crown Highways apprentices, and heard what they had to say about their own experiences:
Emily Webster | Apprentice Quantity Surveyor
“I am currently in my Final Year of my BSC (HONS) Quantity Surveying Degree. I have really enjoy studying whilst working, as it is a chance to receive on-the-job training, studying towards a full bachelor’s degree, and earning a salary at the same time.
“Completing an Apprenticeship at Crown Highways has been very rewarding, as it has given me the chance to work and learn from Professional’s within the business, and develop a plethora of skills and knowledge, using their experience and expertise surrounding Quantity Surveying and more specifically the Highways Industry.”
Jack Castro | Trainee Project Manager
“I’ve been working at Crown for around 4 months and have been welcomed with open arms. I am currently training to be a project manager within the loops department, where I assist in the role of preparing all relevant documents and paperwork, allocating the site workers to the jobs, whilst also developing and maintaining healthy relationships with clients.
“I also assist with the quoting of jobs, to ensure jobs can be scheduled quickly, to provide customers with fast,
Ben Stubbs | Apprentice Quantity Surveyor
“Although I have only been at Crown for a couple of months, I already feel that I have learnt a lot and I’m enjoying learning from everybody here.
“All of the team are very supportive, and always offering help whenever I need it. I’m enjoying learning new skills every day and interacting with different people within the supply chain to help me develop my communication skills. As a trainee quantity surveyor these skills will definitely be important as I further my career.”
Managing Director Mike Dale also told us:
“The skills gap is a term that’s been banded around the sector for some time now, and the only way we bridge that is by actively encouraging new people, particularly that younger generation into our companies.
“The 5% club provides somewhat of a yardstick to measure that level of pro-activity by, and it’s a badge of honour for us that we have hit that 5% figure in just 2 years.
“The apprenticeships and indeed, apprentices themselves bring a lot to our business, and as we move forward, the knowledge and skills that we can impart now will stand them in good stead for long and successful careers within the sector in the long term.
“As we at Crown Highways understand the importance of providing opportunities to the younger generation, should anyone reading this know of anybody who is looking to kickstart their career in the sector, then I’d urge them to get in touch and see if we can assist, as 5% certainly isn’t where we intend to stop.”
To get in touch, please call: 01543 682329 or email: [email protected]