Hudson Contract is celebrating having helped more than 80 apprentices begin a career in construction with its ground-breaking Apprentice Sponsorship Scheme. The professional workplace construction audit and contract solutions provider is dedicated to investing in the future of construction. Now, it is encouraging other firms to host similar schemes to help address the skills shortage in the industry.
Launched back in 2011, the Apprentice Sponsorship Scheme offers 12 months’ financial support to employers to help them take on an apprentice. As part of the scheme, Hudson Contract pays 50% of each apprentice’s wages for the first year of their training. It has helped more than 60 firms to date.
The firm hosted a celebration for its apprentices last week. Attended by school and college career advisors and construction industry professionals, the event promoted the scheme and rewarded four young apprentices with special prizes on the night.
The Rt Hon Sir Greg Knight, MP, presented the awards to the winners; Danielle Sharpe, plumbing apprentice (first place); Ben Dolan, electrical apprentice (second place), Regan Hewitt, carpentry and joinery apprentice, and Jordan Forsdyke, joinery apprentice (joint third place), received prizes kindly donated by West BS and Hudson Contract.
Hudson Contract founder and chairman David Jackson said: “We are passionate about ensuring young people have every opportunity to begin a career in construction. We recognised several years ago that there is a real need to develop places for apprentices which is why we created our apprenticeship programme. The introduction this year of a new national apprenticeship levy and training service is very welcome, but it will not be enough on its own. We would really like to see other companies in the region offer a sponsorship scheme like ours, which has proven to be successful. The scheme is really simple – and it has to be, to ensure there’s plenty of take-up in an area where only a handful of construction firms have more than five employees.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who joined us at the event last week, and to congratulate all the apprentices who have participated in our scheme, especially those who won prizes on the night.”
Speaking at the event, Alex Sheldon, head of construction at East Riding College said: “Initiatives such as the Hudson Contract Apprenticeship Scheme and the governmental Apprenticeship Levy coming in April, make it easier for employers to build their workforce from the ground up. Companies must also take up the mantle of responsibility themselves if they truly wish to contribute to industry productivity.”