We recently invited Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, to meet with some of our groundworks apprentices on site at West Coventry Academy.
Through the West Midlands Combined Authority, we are one of the companies that has benefitted from the Levy Transfer Scheme. The scheme enables large employers who pay the apprenticeship levy to transfer up to 25% of their levy funds to SMEs. Transferring levy funds is a way of supporting smaller businesses who wish to recruit apprentices by paying for the apprenticeship training and assessment.
Damien Gallagher, Contracts Manager, explained why McDermotts has chosen to employ apprentices. “There’s a shortage of the young people who historically came into the construction industry. By having the link with Salutem, it means there’s a steady flow of young people coming in, helping plug that gap in the workforce.”
“Once they’ve got to the stage where they’ve finished their apprenticeship, they’re very employable. But of course, there’s a job waiting for them at McDermotts too.”
Andy also spoke to Gemma Kemp, Salutem’s Operations Director, to find out more about the levy scheme. Said Gemma, “Originally the government only allowed a few apprentices at a time to a small company like McDermotts. The West Midlands Combined Authority said they could help them take on more than this. Salutem formed the link between the two, helping McDermotts with their recruitment and taking potential apprentices through a 3-week site ready course. It’s a great way of getting into the groundworks apprenticeship.”
Andy spent time with apprentices Charlie, Luke and Jake, chatting to them in depth about their apprenticeship.
Luke explained to Andy how he came to apply for his apprenticeship. “I was presented with the opportunity through the Government Gateway website. I started a 3-week training course with Salutem, and they also helped me to get my CSCS card, ready to be on site. They offered me an interview to complete an apprenticeship with McDermotts, and I haven’t looked back since.”
As one of the older apprentices, Luke is also grateful that his age hasn’t hindered the opportunity or his progress.
After spending some time with the apprentices, Andy was taken on a guided tour of the site. Before leaving, he wished all three good luck with their careers.
You can see more of Andy’s visit on the West Midlands Combined Authority’s social media channels.
McDermotts’ groundworks apprenticeships are managed by Salutem. If you’re interested in applying for the next intake, please visit salutem.co.uk for more information.