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NMBS apprenticeship initiative moves ahead

So far, 19 apprentices have joined the NMBS ‘Apprenticeship Youth Enterprise 50’ campaign, launched by independent builders merchant buying group NMBS.
To deliver the campaign, NMBS has teamed up with Didac – a leading training provider that runs the BMF apprenticeship scheme. Interested businesses simply need to contact NMBS who will then facilitate access to Didac’s services.

Didac will then work with the merchant or supplier to advertise the position and screen applications. Shortlisting, interviews and eventual appointment are then conducted as normal and in-line with the individual company’s protocols and procedures. Once an apprentice is appointed, Didac will also work with the employer to provide training and the opportunity for the apprentice to gain NVQ qualifications.

Under the NMBS scheme, Didac’s services are provided completely free of charge. Further financial incentives come in the form of Government grants of up £1500 per apprentice (dependent on geographical location) which can be used towards the apprentice’s wages whilst training. For all apprentices between the ages 17 and 19 training costs are fully funded. In addition, after training, many apprentices can fulfil roles typically earmarked for graduates and at a fraction of the cost – replacing academic qualifications with real world experience and ‘on-the-job’ training.

Neil Hickman, managing director at Hickman Supplies, says: “The NMBS apprenticeship scheme demonstrates a clear commitment to the sector and has enabled me to take on a weekend employee, Kieran Casey, who had recently left school and was looking for full-time employment.’

“Over the last four months, it’s been immensely rewarding to see Kieran evolve into an important member of our team, increasing in both skills and confidence. To monitor his performance and ensure his continued progression, Didac also visit our premises on a regular basis and set structured goals to ensure his abilities – and his value to the company – continue to grow.’

“Signing up for the scheme was easy whilst the benefits it has delivered to both our business and to our apprentice have been tangible. I would happily recommend the initiative to all NMBS members.”

Kevin Middleton, joint managing director, Buttle Plc says: ‘The whole experience has been trouble free and has resulted in us securing three enthusiastic school leavers who will contribute to the future success of the company.’

Keen to lead by example, NMBS has even taken on an apprentice itself – Joshua Agar – who’s based within its IT department. In total, the buying society hopes to encourage the recruitment of a minimum of 50 apprentices by the end of 2013. With a further 17 positions currently being advertised and recruited for NMBS are well on the way to achieving this.

NMBS is keen to ensure a minimum of 50 apprentices are recruited within its member and supplier companies.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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