Alun Griffiths Contractors - Apprentice+

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GE Aviation Wales Inspiring Young Talent Award, 2017, Winner

Alun Griffiths Contractors was founded in 1968, is still privately owned, and is one of Wales’ leading civil engineering firms, delivering infrastructure projects across the country and supporting the economic growth of Wales.

Good for business

  • Winning work – a joined up approach to apprenticeship recruitment and training has been fed into new tender submissions, with an increase in winning new work from 27% to 41%
  • The skills business needs – the apprenticeship programme allows Alun Griffiths to get the skillset it needs to get the work done and be sustainable into the future, whilst at the same time reducing spend on agency staff
  • Reducing staff turnover – a commitment to the next generation of workers has reduced staff turnover down from a low base of 11% to 7% over three years

Good for society

  • Career progression – the approach taken builds in career progression from day one, with apprentices able to progress to higher level qualifications; 93% of Advanced Apprentices achieve an HNC or BSc
  • Debt reduction – higher education can often exact a toll on young people when it comes to the cost of studying, but through apprentices they can earn and learn; with 16 Apprentice+ cohorts now studying for a degree around £1mn of debt has been avoided
  • Employment – through Alun Griffiths every apprentice is offered full-time employment upon leaving the programme, allowing them to start their career on the right foot

Apprentice+

An ageing workforce and a sector beset by skills gaps. These are just some of the challenges facing the construction sector in Wales – and beyond. Alun Griffiths’ Apprentice+ programme addresses both of these challenges and does so in a way which makes employment opportunities available for young people in Wales. Apprentice+ is in place across the entire business and plays a central role in business development and securing new work for Alun Griffiths.

Apprentice+ is driven by business objectives to increase turnover and address the dual challenges of an ageing workforce and reducing the company’s reliance on subcontracted labour and agency workers. Building on school and college engagement to first raise the profile of the construction industry, Alun Griffiths built an accessible apprenticeship programme for young people (aged 16 – 24) of all levels of ability. Apprentices themselves also play a key role in promoting Apprentice+ to future applicants by going into schools and presenting at workshops.

By planning development routes through from Foundation stages all the way to higher degree qualifications – and offering apprentices employment at the end of their studies – Alun Griffiths gets the skilled workers it needs whilst at the same time making work accessible and real for young people. Alun Griffiths have also successfully leveraged the business development value of their apprenticeship programme by building it into their Community Benefits (Wales) and Social Value (England) reporting. 

Returning tangible business benefits back into the company, Alun Griffiths can demonstrate that working with the next generation employees in this way is driving turnover and helping them win new work.

What Alun Griffiths’ Executive Director said:

“Our Apprentice+ programme has allowed us to address the skills gaps within our business. By identifying, recruiting and training bright, local, talented young adults we are able to develop them in a way which matches our company ethos and values.”Martyn Evans, Executive Director, Alun Griffiths Contractors