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21st Mar 2016

Calling Exceptional Individuals; Applications Deadline for Apprenticeships End of March

The StuartBarrCDR apprenticeship scheme has been running for as long as the company; but has taken on a more formal structure over the last three years. StuartBarrCDR takes on several apprentices each year. Each apprentice is assigned to an experienced qualified craftsmen and trained in a specialist trade, whilst at the same time undertaking diploma qualifications. The apprenticeship scheme ensures that StuartBarrCDR values and standards are passed on and employees can be promoted through the ranks of the company. Keen to update and improve our scheme, company director Stuart Barr is currently acting as an advisor to the FMB in the development of the government trailblazer apprenticeship scheme. The guidelines produced will effect real change to construction apprenticeship schemes across the country and the experience is already impacting what we do here at StuartBarrCDR.

Sarah Hughes, StuartBarrCDR office manager, says we are looking for people who are “hungry” for the opportunity and have a determination to succeed. A willingness to work hard and to take on tough and often menial tasks is necessary. Our apprentices are expected to adhere to strict company standards in terms - but more than that they need to have the right attitude. We are looking for exceptional young people who are 100% committed to the company and the scheme. In return we give our apprentices all the support they need and the opportunity to progress through the company. Apprentices will not necessarily need to already have practical skills, but we are particularly looking for candidates who can demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Initiative
  • A willingness to learn and listen
  • Good communication skills
  • Self motivation
  • Presentable appearance
  • Reliability

Advice from Phil Whiteman, Local Apprentice Officer from the CITB is that every single student is different; some are not ready for the world of work, some get into their second year and realise it is not for them. CIBT can help by providing a skill learning exercise for potential apprentices in the industry. Phil believes this is a good indicator for aptitude for jobs in the industry; however he believes attitude is just as important and that StuartBarrCDR recognise and value both. Phil feels that a period of work or work experience before an apprenticeship starts is a vital part of the decision making process. 

The success of the StuartBarrCDR/ BarrJoinery apprenticeship schemes is that in the last 3 years 80% of the apprentices taken on remain with the BarrGroup companies, furthering their careers as skilled craftsmen. Over 40% of our employed staff started with us as apprentices - including those currently on the scheme.

Over their two year training program apprentices will spend one day a week at college, working towards their Level 2 NVQ Certificate. The remaining four days of the week are spent in the workshop or on site, where each apprentice is assigned their own mentor relevant to their chosen trade and will be supported.

Former apprentice Lawrence Foster states, “I don’t believe I would have had the opportunities I have had at StuartBarr anywhere else. Very few businesses have such belief in their employees.  Anyone here will progress if they are prepared to work hard and learn”.

If you know anyone who would be interested in doing an apprenticeship with StuartBarrCDR or BarrJoinery, please forward this link. Applicants need to send us an up-to-date CV and a covering letter explaining their choice of trade and why they would like to work for us. The deadline for applications is the end of March. Contact details are available here: contact/42/

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