Andy Moule is Apprentice Manager for Salutem, McDermott’s sister company providing training and apprenticeships to the construction industry.
Having left school at 16, Andy got his first taste of apprenticeships when he undertook a four-year apprenticeship in bricklaying. He spent the next 22 years working as a bricklayer, mostly on bespoke house builds. In his spare time he was also an army cadet force instructor. In 2003 he combined his two interests and began lecturing at Worcester College of Technology before moving to New College Redditch. In 2015 Andy joined Salutem to set up their bespoke apprenticeship provision.
Here Andy tells us a little more about why apprenticeships are so important to the construction industry.
1. Why should businesses employ apprentices?
With the construction industry facing a skills shortage employers need to be acting now to not only support the industry, but to ‘futureproof’ their own businesses. By investing in their future workforce, business can ensure the skills and knowledge held by existing employees are passed onto the next generation.
2. What is different about apprentices recruited through Salutem?
One of the challenges we face is that apprentices have traditionally been recruited through colleges. This is a mindset we are trying to change by demonstrating that our ‘pre-apprenticeship’ programme ensures that students are ready to work once they leave here. Unlike a college, students recruited via Salutem will be used to working construction hours including the early starts and our programme can be paced to suit students. They will have had basic training in some of the tasks they will be required to do on site as well as visiting a large site. We also focus on preparing them mentally for working life, having the right attitude and understanding the responsibilities that come with having a job.
3. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy teaching and making a difference to young people, particularly those that may have not received support in the academic environment. Watching them realise their potential is very rewarding. Having been through an apprenticeship myself I have always believed in them. The construction industry is changing and if I can do a little bit to ensure that future generations learn the skills required to keep it going then then I will be content.
One of the biggest challenges he’s faced is that traditionally colleges have provided the education element of apprenticeships whereas Salutem provides where he took their construction module from a level 1 to a level 3 to provide training on brickwork, plastering, carpentry and joinery.