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Derry Building Services

02 July 2014

Founded in London in 1734, Derry Building Services (DBS) offers design services, mechanical and electrical surveying and low carbon consultancy, working in sectors ranging from commercial (office/warehousing) to hotels, leisure, R&D, food, telecoms, manufacturing and retail. Managing director Mark Townsend is a passionate advocate for apprenticeships as a valid alternative to further education. Why? Because he was an apprentice himself, just like 65% of the company’s current workforce, many whom are now in management positions.

 Today, some still view an apprenticeship as a limited career path leading to a limited job role. In reality, however, there is overwhelming evidence that an apprenticeship can be a gateway to a career at the very top. Particularly in larger companies, there is huge scope for apprentices to achieve great things, becoming the leaders of tomorrow. And while apprenticeships provide a fantastic boost up the ladder for those just starting out in their career, they also ensure the ongoing viability of the company, both as a business and as a skills hub.

 DBS was among the top 100 apprenticeship employers in 2013. The company employs in excess of 200 staff, of whom 133 have completed an apprenticeship, 71 within DBS itself. Having just opened a new office in Birmingham, that number looks set to grow. The company engages three to four new apprentices each year and currently has 12 working up to NVQ 3. Apprentices are integrated at all levels of the company and provide the backbone on which DBS’s reputation and success are founded.

 JTL has built a strong partnership with DBS. According to company director Steve Burley, they "would not consider using any other training provider as we feel the service  JTL provides, along with the expertise and experience of its training officers, is of an excellent standard."

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