Since its inception, the Akela Apprentice Programme has seen over 500 complete apprenticeship training.
As part of this year’s programme, Akela Group is also supporting the Youth Build employability programme offered by national charity, Action for Children. The scheme is designed to help young people to secure and sustain employment by giving them industry recognised training and certification.
The recent intake of apprentices has focused on young people; in previous years, candidates both young and old have been recruited in a bid to reduce the skills gap and encourage more people to retrain for a career in construction.
Martin O’Donnell, health & safety advisor at Akela Group, said: “We have always recognised the benefits that apprentices bring, and encouraging new recruits into the sector is needed now more than ever as the industry tackles a skills shortage exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Learning through a mix of practical on-the-job training, while also working towards a formal qualification SVQ Level 2 in Construction & Civil Engineering Operations, the apprentices will see first-hand the different stages of construction development. They will be presented with challenges on-site, encouraging them to develop problem-solving skills, and will be mentored and supported by the Akela team.”
Allan Bowman, employability facilitator at Action for Children, said: “These employability opportunities offered by the Akela Group to the young people we support are invaluable and could be life-changing for them. Gaining secure employment, learning new skills, and developing a career pathway within the construction industry will help to give young people the best start.”
The Akela apprentice programme is supplemented by additional training offered by Tala Training, part of the Akela Group, working with young people as part of a four-week work Employability and Personal Development Certification Programme.
One young person who recently completed this and has gone on to secure an apprenticeship place is new recruit Kieran Wise, who said: “Through Action for Children, I carried out a work placement opportunity with Akela Group and after a successful probation period, was offered full-time employment and enrolled on the apprenticeship scheme. The support offered to me by the Akela team has been second to none and I’m grateful to have been selected as part of this year's apprenticeship intake. Getting the chance to learn this trade, have a steady income and move into my first flat has been life-changing and a dream come true for me.”