As part of their BTEC studies the 16-19 year old students, all from South Wales, will learn the skills of bricklaying, civil engineering, plant fitting, and heavy and light vehicle fitting. Working with Cuddy’s senior industry experts on sites throughout the region, the apprentices will undergo the same extensive induction as any new recruit to the company. To ensure the students’ ongoing development, they will also take part in Cuddy’s continued award-winning training initiatives which managing director Mike Cuddy hopes will give them the best possible start in their career.
Mike explains: “Many people would question a decision to invest in young people at a time when the industry is struggling to regain stability. However I want to attract as much young talent as possible into construction and demolition, regardless of the troubles and levels of confidence being experienced in the wider marketplace.
“I think it’s very apparent that our industry’s workforce is ageing and I am concerned that when these experienced professionals retire we are going to face a shortfall in fresh knowledge and skills. Yet I believe that you can have a long and rewarding career doing what we do, so I think it’s important that we as industry leaders showcase the opportunities that are available to school and college leavers.”
As unemployment levels remain worryingly high the importance of apprenticeships – especially in construction – has been praised at a parliamentary level. This is the first time Cuddy Group has offered an apprenticeship scheme, but as Mike continues to explain, it won’t be the last: “I want Cuddy Group to help young people find some direction in their lives, and in turn this will inject some new lifeblood into our multi-disciplined industry.”
The apprentices are currently working on housing and infrastructure schemes in South Wales.
17-year old student Kai Woodland from Blaengwynfi, Port Talbot is excited about the two years that lie ahead: “I think it’s really important that organisations like Cuddy Group give young people an opportunity to get a foot on the ladder.
“The great thing is that the six of us are learning valuable workplace skills, whilst earning an income too.”