Apprenticeship importance clear with Gra-Bern

05 May 2015     JTL

Shropshire-based employer Gra-Bern Electrical Contractors have a customer base that stretches across the country. They have achieved long-term success in their field; success that has been built on a commitment to people development and training.

With this, Gra-Bern has taken on JTL apprentices year on year. The organisation, founded in 1976, now has 16 staff, 13 of whom work on client commissions. Six of these 13 are apprentices, selected by Gra-Bern from the JTL Approved Applicant List, which gives them the opportunity to gain access to the best and most skilled young people in the local area.

Access to the Approved Applicants List is dependant on a young person successfully completing the JTL Entry Assessment, which can now be taken online.

The latest recruit to join Gra-Bern is Emily Renshaw, 19, who is also the first female apprentice taken on by the company. Emily, who started with the business in January, has impressed her employers with her enthusiasm towards the work she undertakes. Having always wanted to be an electrician, she is delighted to have joined a company where all of the staff, from the senior partners downwards, came through a four-year apprenticeship route.

Graham Brown, one of these senior partners, was a founder of the business nearly 40 years ago. The company moved to their current base, at Tweedale Court, in Telford, in 1995. They now cover a full array of commercial and industrial services, as well as continuing to build on a growing reputation in the domestic market.

“Reputation is everything to this company, with so much of our business gained through word of mouth recommendation”, said Graham, who remains at the helm to this day with his business partner Mick Goodwin.

“We have had four apprentices nominated for the Apprentice of the Year, and throughout the time have worked in partnership with national training provider JTL and Telford College to give our young recruits the full learning experience, and the best opportunities for qualification.

“We look for people who want to stay with us for the long term and contribute to the development of the business”, he added.

“There is a sound business base among local authorities, Shropshire services and business customers, and in the last five years we have added to our domestic work by proving our value to organisations such as housing associations.

“None of this would be possible without the strengths that qualification through an apprentice brings to the business.”

First-year electrical apprentice Emily Renshaw, supervised by Glyn Rowland

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