When Ryan Heyhurst chose to become an apprentice, his parents thought it was a good opportunity. They have been proved right. Six years after completing his joinery apprenticeship, Ryan is now sharing his experience with new apprentices Rio Clarke and Josh Scrowston at their employer DB Lount & Sons in Bridlington.
All three are graduates of Hudson Contract’s innovative sponsorship scheme to invest in the future of the construction industry. Our family-owned company pays a wage contribution of £50 per person per week for the first year of their training with local employers and has sponsored 158 apprentices since launch.
To mark Ryan’s progress, we caught up with all three young men in Bridlington, East Yorkshire and found out about their work. Rio, 17, is a bricklaying apprentice in the final year of his college course. At school, he preferred practical work to academic study and chose construction because he enjoys hands-on activities.
Rio said: “The money side is good and I’m getting paid to learn. I’m also getting the opportunity to learn other trades as well. My dad thinks it’s the best decision I’ve ever made - he’s very proud of me. I want to stay in the industry and I like working with DB Lount.”
Josh, 19, is a joinery apprentice, also in the final year of his college course. When younger, he helped his father do some work on the family home and enjoyed it. He also did some work at the care home where his mother, a nurse, works. On site, he enjoys working with others and seeing the end results of his efforts.
Josh said: “I am still young so my focus is on finishing my apprenticeship and learning the trade. My parents are well chuffed. It might be because they think they’re going to get some free maintenance too! It is very good to work with someone a bit older who has done the same course.”
Ryan, 27, was interested in joinery from a young age. His grandad was in the trade. With his qualifications and growing experience, he enjoys the variety of work, the opportunities to help other trades, learn new skills and, perhaps most importantly, the chance to pass on his experience to new recruits.
Ryan said: “We all have good trades that we can rely on. I can work anywhere in the world with the skills I have learned. At some point, I will get my own business and then I can be boss. If schools want to encourage more people into construction, they need to get kids out of the classroom and show them the amazing work we are doing in the real world.”
Graham Lount, director of DB Lount & Sons, is pleased with all three’s continuing progress and offered some advice to firms looking to take on new apprentices. Graham said:
Find out about them as individuals. If they have long-standing hobbies and interests - not video games - this tends to show they have commitment and passion. Treat them as you would want to be treated and explain the reasons behind rules. They are young adults, not kids anymore.