Woodhead One helps local company recruit new Apprentices

Woodhead One, the specialist repairs and maintenance team of construction company Woodhead has helped local contractor Alphaworks to grow and take on two apprentices during its first year of trading.

Woodhead One currently operates on the EMPA (East Midlands Property Alliance) Repair and Maintenance Framework which includes contracts with Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council Erewash Borough Council, Newark and Sherwood Homes and Mansfield District Council. As a result of the contracts delivered through the framework Woodhead One have been able to significantly invest in a local supply chain, including contractors such as Alphaworks.

Paul Machin, Minor Works Manager for Woodhead One, is responsible for coordinating the EMPA Repairs and Maintenance Framework contracts. He said;

“We select all our subcontractors based on a range of criteria including locality, quality of work and past performance. We have worked with Alphaworks on a number of projects now and they always deliver, so it’s great to see the positive impact on their business as a result of the works we are jointly undertaking.”

Bryn Williamson set up Alphaworks in 2013 and as the volume of work that the business is undertaking through the EMPA Repairs and Maintenance Framework has grown, Bryn has been able to expand his workforce. He now employs a team of five including Nick Wharton who handles the day to day management of the business, Terry Allen who deals with responsive repairs and maintenance call outs for Woodhead One and two apprentices.

Head of empa Alan Coole said: “Once again we can see how empa is benefitting not only local contractors by helping to increase the amount of project work they secure, but also local young people by giving them the chance to get their foot on the ladder to successful careers in the construction industry. Woodhead and empa have helped Alphaworks go from strength to strength, thanks to the connections and relationships within the framework. This is another brilliant success story for the East Midlands Property Alliance.”

Will Morgan who is aged 18 and from Clifton, had been looking for a plumbing apprenticeship for a while but couldn’t find anyone who was willing to give him a try, so he decided to attend Central College in Beeston to put himself through a Level 1 plumbing NVQ in the hope that it would make him more employable. When Bryn started looking for an apprentice he contacted Central College to see if they had anyone that they could recommend to him as he was keen to find someone with the right work ethic.

alphaworks apprenticeBryn gave him a trial, during which he proved himself to be reliable and hard working so he decided to take him on as an apprentice plumber, bathroom fitter and tiler. Bryn comments; “Will’s got to the stage where he can first fix a room with minimal supervision and I can trust him to get on with things on site without too much supervision, which is great for someone at this stage in his training. He’s got the right attitude which is the most important thing for me to see in any apprentice.”

The team has been able to work on a wide variety of projects for Woodhead One including the installation of new bathrooms at Welbeck Primary School in The Meadows, which was carried out over the summer holidays. This involved the removal of the existing bathrooms, some repositioning of walls in order to maximise space and the installation of new boys and girls bathrooms.

The work undertaken for Woodhead One has enabled the local company to take on a second apprentice, Neil Hutchinson, 27, from Awsworth who joined the business two months ago. Neil had been in the military and having returned to civilian life was looking for a new career path, he had decided to use the transitional training available to him to begin training as a plumber. Both apprentices attend Central College in Beeston one day a week to work towards their qualifications but continue to gain valuable experience with the team during the rest of the week. Bryn hopes to be able to recruit a third apprentice very soon.