Bromsgrove boss makes apprenticeship week plea

By Tristan Harris Tuesday 04 March 2014 Updated: 07/03 10:31

A BROMSGROVE man who started out life as an apprentice and then went on to be an education and skills co-ordinator in the building industry is urging other companies to give young people their first chance.

The calls from Phil Eves of BAM Construction come ahead of National Apprenticeship Week which runs until Friday (March 7).

Mr Eves, who has run a construction course in partnership with North Bromsgrove High School, said he could not have got where he was now if he had not been given that initial chance in Bromsgrove when he had hardly any experience or qualifications.

He left school with few GCSEs but was granted an apprenticeship through the Youth Training Scheme and the Construction Industry Training Board.

“I started working as a carpenter for a Bromsgrove company and later went to night school to get further qualifications in the industry.

“After seven years of training, I did a Higher National Certificate and then secured work as a site manager,” he added.

Mr Eves then moved into planning, specialising and design before starting his own training company.

When he became an NVQ assessor, he began assessing apprentices himself and now he is an education and skills co-ordinator, involving school pupils in projects BAM carries out.

“My own experiences mean I can understand what both employers and young people want from an apprenticeship – and how to bring them together.”

The link up with North Bromsgrove High School led to apprenticeships for ex-students at BAM in bricklaying and carpentry. There are currently 40 apprenticeships running at BAM across the region.

Mr Eves said other businesses should follow his lead and give more young people - particularly those from difficult backgrounds - their first chance in the construction industry.

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