A case study: enhancing our talent pool by investing in apprentices – Colas

Posted on: 2017-03-08

Colas is an award-winning business, delivering sustainable solutions for the investment, maintenance and operation of the UK’s transport infrastructure. By 2018, Colas aim for apprentices to make up 5% of their workforce and have committed to support both their existing workforce and offer development opportunities for new starters.

We speak with Donna Hitchcock, Associate HR Director at Colas on the importance of investing in apprenticeships, and how UCEM plays a key part in this.

Colas’ Story

The Built Environment is currently fighting for its share of the talent pool. With a perceived reduction in appropriate skills and resource available in the sector, there has never been a more critical time to raise awareness of the benefits of working in this industry.

The opportunities that lie ahead and the critical role that an apprentice can play in the development of future infrastructure are an exciting aspect to promote, and as industry professionals, it is our responsibility to be doing everything we can to retain and grow our existing and future workforce. A key part of this is offering the opportunity to develop, learn new skills and gather valuable experience which can all be achieved through an apprenticeship; it’s vital we work with the correct partners in order to deliver this.

With UCEM, our apprentices can gather and apply valuable and practical experience whilst learning the technical skill and theory behind it through their studies. As UCEM apprentice programmes are predominantly accessed online, the work and study model is incredibly flexible. This ensures minimal disruption to the student and to the business and that is the key factor in making apprenticeships work for everyone.

The programme material offered by UCEM reflects the priorities of today’s industry which gives our apprentices the knowledge and confidence to contribute to our daily business performance. Not only does this encourage fresh thinking within the organisation, but it’s also critical in an apprentice’s personal and professional development.

Our very own Level 6 apprentice, Raj Clair, currently studies with UCEM, “It’s great to study something that I can put into practice the very next day. Studying online has been so easy to adapt to – I’m experiencing the best of both worlds!”

At Colas, we currently employ 29 apprentices all across the business with a view of hiring many more over the next year. We know our apprentices will increase productivity, improve business performance and ensure a committed and competent workforce that will drive the business forward. We are so keen to ensure that anyone who has the drive to work and study, has the opportunity to do so.

If you would like to know more about UCEM’s apprenticeships, the apprenticeship levy, apprenticeship funding, what’s involved in employing an apprentice or any other aspect of UCEM’s apprenticeships offer please complete our online apprenticeship enquiry form or contact Meryl Bonser or Martin Cawley.

For more information on Colas visit http://www.colas.co.uk/ or contact careers@colas.co.uk