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Following a twelve month dedicated training programme, apprentices from GPL Group are celebrating completing their Level 1 course and securing full time employment within the construction industry.
The 10 apprentices, whose ages range from 17 to 27 years, have completed the company’s inaugural Group Apprenticeship Programme. They were originally chosen with the assistance of local charity The Broughton Trust, Salford City Council and Lomax Training.
The group studied for the Intermediate Apprentice Programme in the company’s Utilities division through a mix of formal classroom and site based learning. Those individuals will now be moving on to undertake roles within GPL or working directly within GPL’s clients. GPL Utilities division is one of the largest metallic pipe replacement specialists in the North West, working on both replacement and maintenance contracts.
The average age of the 10 apprentices is 22.7 yrs and seven were previously unemployed or NEET (not in education, employment or training). By taking on these 10 apprentices, The Broughton Trust has calculated that GPL Group could be putting over £588,000* back into the community.
Martin Gallagher, director at GPL Group said: “When we embarked on developing an apprenticeship scheme, we wanted to ensure we gave a wide range of candidates an opportunity. We were wary that the industry often views apprentices as being school leavers, but we were conscious that there are plenty of local people who were still looking for that first work opportunity.
“It has been a year of education from both sides, but we believe that our programme is a great introduction into the careers available in our area of construction. We have been pleased with our apprentices’ performance which has now been reflected by the fact they are all going on to continue with full time employment in our sector. We are currently reviewing which area of the business we would like to focus on for our next intake of apprentices later this year.”
Curtis White, one of the older apprentices at 27 yrs old said: “GPL Group has given me a real opportunity to get a qualification and to gain work-place experience. The role is varied and I enjoy coming to work. I wouldn’t have thought that a few years back and now I am looking forward to developing a career in the construction industry.”
Mr Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, and the newly elected Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett have both closely followed the company’s scheme.
Tony Lloyd met the apprentices at GPL when they embarked on the course last year and has been impressed by the opportunities the initiative has given local young people to work on engineering and utility contracts across the North West and beyond.
Tony Lloyd said: “GPL has embraced the opportunity to bring young local people into its business, investing in their skills, their careers and their futures. The success of this scheme can be held up as an excellent example of how investing in apprentices can contribute to stronger communities and a vibrant economy.”
Mr Dennett added: “It is vital that companies like GPL recognise the opportunities that bringing young people into a business can bring. As well as motivating the individuals, it has a positive effect on other employees and the culture of the organisation.
“GPL has created strong Corporate Social Values that are reflected in the enthusiasm of these young people, who are all moving their careers forward. This enthusiasm can only have a positive impact on our communities in Salford as other young people are encouraged to pursue the array of work place training opportunities available to them.
“It’s great to see Salford based businesses like GPL providing real sustainable opportunities for our young people and I hope we can continue to build on their success within our City.”
* Calculation for savings through NEETs Calculations via The Broughton Trust
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