James Burrell programme sets apprentice standards

Published:  22 January, 2013

Gateshead-based James Burrell Builders' Merchants is running an apprenticeship development programme with Business Impact. It is designed to help employers by combining work experience with taking staff through a structured programme to give them the skills to be able to do their job well.

Alyson Graham, the merchant's human resources manager, said: "Finding the right young people for a company like ours could be quite a challenge, but the strength and quality of the candidates Business Impact provided has been recognised by our increased intake and the speed at which our apprenticeship programme has taken off."

The merchant initially planned to take on just one young person but the number of apprentices has quadrupled in six months.

The three new starters at James Burrell are Connor Robinson (20), James Stewart (20) and Dan Hawthorn (17). They have been joined on the apprenticeship programme by existing staff member Daniel Fahey (19) who had previously spent time on holiday placements and worked on the trade counter at the Gateshead depot.

All are following a one-year programme as warehousing operatives and completing an intermediate apprenticeship, but will also get to work in all areas of the business from logistics and sales to operations and customer services.

"The programme will develop their confidence and help find them suitable final positions in the business, where their personal skill set can be put to best use," said Ms Graham.

"The advantage of taking apprentices into our business is that they can rotate around the entire business in the early part of their career and we can then assess where they will work best in the long-term."

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