GROWING carpentry business is helping to tackle a skills shortage in partnership with Middlesbrough College Group.
With plans to expand its operations recently approved, Billingham-based BA Joinery is planning new hires – calling on ambitious young students to come forward.
The specialist manufacturer has worked with the College for more than six years, and many of its senior staff have joined through internships, apprenticeships and then full-time employment.
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BA Joinery’s Director of Operations, Peter Marwood, said: “Our industry continues to face a significant skills shortage and we have really struggled to recruit specialist joiners over the years. We have also seen this in the construction sector.
“Work placements and apprenticeships have helped bridge this gap and have played a huge role in our success and growth. In fact, my own son Callum started as an apprentice in 2016 and is now thriving with the business as a fully qualified bench carpenter.
“The advantage of placements and apprenticeships is that they benefit both the learner and the employer. We are able to develop staff from an early age, teaching them specialist skills for our business, while apprentices learn on the job and gain invaluable skills that will help them build lasting careers with our business. .
“It’s been incredibly rewarding to watch them grow and we’re even exploring the possibility of opening our own learning academy, in partnership with Middlesbrough College Group. This would allow us to further shape their learning, provide tailored training and ultimately future-proof our workforce.”
Katharine Hawking, Head of Work Experience and T-Level Industry Placements at Middlesbrough College, said: “Industry placements provide unrivaled experiences for our learners and can be a great stepping stone to learning.
“And for employers, they offer a unique opportunity to spot the potential of some of our most talented learners, early on.
“We are working with businesses across the region to create a talent pool – from student interns to work-ready, start-up apprentices, and our team is always on hand to help more employers take advantage of this specialist training.”
Peter’s son Callum said: “Leaving school and not knowing what to do next can be daunting, but an apprenticeship has proven to be the perfect path for me.
“I’ve built a great career here over the past six years and love coming to work every day. I would recommend internships and apprenticeships to anyone looking to enter the industry. It’s the best way to get hands-on experience, and as an apprentice, you can earn money while you learn. It’s a win-win. »
Alongside its work placement and apprenticeship, BA Joinery has recently committed to providing T-level work placements for Middlesbrough College students.
These pioneering new technical qualifications are designed in conjunction with employers and include an industry placement of at least 45 days – helping learners gain valuable on-the-job experience.
Peter added: “As our business continues to grow, we want to encourage more young people in our region to consider T Levels.
“They are a fantastic pathway into the industry and a stepping stone to incredibly rewarding careers.”
In addition to its partnership with BA Joinery, Middlesbrough College Group works with over 2,000 employers in the North East and Yorkshire to offer a variety of skills programs.