Travis Perkins plc, the UK’s largest provider of building materials, was able to showcase its award-winning apprenticeship scheme to a senior delegation from the Chinese Government during a visit to the Group’s Northampton Head Office last week.
Vice Minister for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China, Tang Tao, was joined by his ministerial team and the Head of Education and Skills at the Department for International Trade, Liu Jing, to find out how Travis Perkins has developed their scheme. The scheme currently has over 650 apprentices nationwide, working across a wide range of programmes; from retail and digital marketing to sales and operations.
The delegation was particularly interested to hear from Sam Crichton, an apprentice who was recently promoted to assistant branch manager for Benchmarx, part of the Travis Perkins Group. Sam told them about the modular-based development plan that has been tailored specifically to him and his branch needs, to build the relevant knowledge and skills and maximise the social, business and personal value of his apprenticeship.
Travis Perkins CEO, John Carter, who himself started his career as an apprentice, said about the visit: “Our philosophy is very much that it’s our people who make our business great. We have an innovative and visionary training and development programme in place to support this belief, and we were delighted to be able to share our insight with the senior delegation from China to support the ideas they are developing for their own people and also exchange reciprocal ideas for the future. We are honoured that the Vice Minister and his team chose to visit Travis Perkins.”
Vice Minister for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China, Tang Tao said: “The apprenticeship system at Travis Perkins is impressive. Enterprises in China and the UK could strengthen their exchanges in apprenticeships”.
The visit was coordinated by WorldSkills UK in collaboration with The Education and Skills Funding Agency and Department for Education as part of a wider educational visit to:
- Explore the UK policy and practice on apprenticeships and technical and education especially how to improve employer engagement.
- To deepen the understanding and collaboration of skills training between China and UK
- To further progress joint working between WorldSkills UK and WorldSkills China in the run up to the international skills competition in Shanghai in 2021.