With questions being asked across the construction industry on how best to tackle the skills shortage, we at Prater have taken steps to invest in the future through our newly designed apprentice programme – which recently welcomed four new apprentices.
The two-year programme will provide a comprehensive view of the business, starting with a series of three-month work rotations across the company, taking in Design and Technical, Sales and Estimating, Operations and Commercial and Buying.
This month, the new starters; Sam Crooks, Isabelle Minter, Guy Mitchell and Caitlin Healy, were met by their line manager and their dedicated business mentors to welcome them to the team. This was followed by a full week’s induction incorporating interactive sessions designed to educate them on key company processes, including IT, HR and Core Values; an introduction to the business by senior business specialists; a tour of two of our iconic sites; and a communication skills development workshop. All designed to give them the best start to life at Prater.
Throughout this first year the apprentices will attend college day release to study for a generic construction HNC. Throughout the year they will also attend quarterly progress reviews, presenting feedback to the business about what they have learned and setting out their goals and measures for the next three months, as well as further behavioural development workshops.
In year two, the apprentices move to spend some time within our Head Office, learning more about Finance and Health and Safety, HR etc. Once they’ve had an insight into all aspects of the Prater business, the apprentices and their line managers will then be able to assess which department would best suit their preferences and capabilities to work in. The second year will be spent gaining valuable work experience in a specific role, and department, in which they can excel.
There is an expert skillset within the industry that is being eroded by retirement and in order to counteract that, we – and other specialist contractors – need to proactively invest time and money into the training and recruitment of new talent. We have a duty to ensure that the younger generation are educated on all that the construction industry can offer, celebrating the extensive range of career paths available.
By investing in Prater’s future workforce, we hope to encourage similar programmes to be introduced across the sector, and pave the way towards a much-needed boost to the number of skilled employees throughout the construction industry.
This apprenticeship programme demonstrates and expands our already significant investment and commitment to educating trainees within the industry and will now form part of our newly launched Evolve programme. Evolve is an internal learning and personal development platform offering all Prater employees a proactive scheme for progression within the business.
It aims to extend and refine employee skillsets through clear development goals tailored to the individual, that are also in line with our core values and business priorities. Evolve will create a revitalised learning culture that recognises and nurtures talent, contributing to the success and growth of the business – positioning Prater as an employer of choice within the industry.