Discussing the value of apprenticeships in construction

In the first of a series of expert panel webinars organised by South Devon College, our Managing Director Keith Miller has been speaking about the value of apprenticeships in the construction industry.

The ‘South Devon Business Community’ webinars have been launched by South Devon College to provide Torbay businesses with support, advice and key updates during lockdown.  Hosted by Emily Tucker, Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, Keith Miller was joined Laurence Frewin – Principal and CEO of South Devon College, Sharron Robbie – Director of Devon and Cornwall Training Provider Network, and Jonathan Holmes – Group Managing Director of Blenheims.

The discussion highlighted that apprenticeships are vital in future-proofing businesses, bringing fresh talent into a company and ensuring valued skilled trades continue.

Cavanna Homes currently employs 13 apprentices with a mix of head office roles such as landbuying and estimating to funded apprenticeships with trades such as bricklayers and plumbers working on the company’s development sites across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

Keith detailed the current challenges facing construction and homebuilding during the coronavirus lockdown. He explained that: “due to current circumstances, we’ve had to furlough our apprentices along with a large percentage of our staff. However, we made sure we took all personal contact details before they were furloughed and we’ve been in regular contact with a weekly update on company news and government directives.

“We’re also encouraging all our apprentices to take advantage of all the online materials and resources available to them via their respective colleges to continue studying and learning,” said Keith. Sharron Robbie confirmed that this was not only permitted, but encouraged, during furlough.

Keith added: “We will remain in close contact with all of our employees and apprentices to ensure they are receiving all the support they need during this difficult time, and once it is safe to do so, we are very much looking forward to welcoming them back with open arms!”

To listen to the full webinar, click here.

For more information on the South Devon Business Community webinar series, click here.