Colas is highlighting the work of two apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2016) which is taking place from 14-18 March.
With the focus often on attracting new, young talent into the industry, Colas showcases two apprentices who have gone further.
David Lynn, 28, who began working for Colas in 2008 on a two-year Construction Operations National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) apprenticeship, will graduate with a BSc (Hons) degree in construction project management this summer.
David, who works out of Colas’ regional headquarters in Newcastle, said: “When I joined Colas as an apprentice in 2008, I could not have predicted that eight years later I would be graduating with a degree. Although I stayed on at school to do my ‘A’ levels, I didn’t get the grades I needed to go to university so this opportunity gave me a second chance.”
For the last five years, David has been studying part-time at Northumbria University, for which the company pays. David’s academic progress at Colas has mirrored his career progress. Joining Colas as an apprentice studying part-time for his NVQ Level 2, he was promoted to Site Operative and studied for his NVQ Level 3. He then studied for his BTEC in Civil Engineering and was promoted to Assistant Engineer. When he was three years into his degree, David was promoted to Site Agent.
David added: “Colas has invested a great deal in my development and I am looking forward to a long and happy career with the company. If I had not applied for the apprenticeship, I would not be in this position now and it really is a great place to work and learn.”
Hollie Walton, 25, began working for Colas in October 2013 on a two-year Business Administration National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) apprenticeship and is now a trainee quantity surveyor studying for a University degree.
Hollie, who works out of Colas’ locally-based business unit in Morley, Leeds, said: “It is incredible to think that just over two years ago I joined Colas as an apprentice and now I am not only working for them as a trainee quantity surveyor, but they are also supporting me through University.”
Hollie is studying part-time for her BSc in Quantity Surveying and attends Leeds Beckett University one-day a week, for which the company pays.
Donna Hitchcock, Colas associate HR director, said: “We have a culture of nurturing talent through training and career development which is underpinned by our Investors in People gold standard achievement and R4E 5 star certificate. We currently have 23 apprentices working across our business nationally and plan to recruit more in 2016/17. By 2020, we aim to have five percent of our workforce as apprentices, which will support the government’s apprenticeship targets.”