Nationwide building services contractor TClarke plc is one of the largest operators in the capital and has a long history of training apprentices through JTL.
John Burrows, labour manager at TClarke, has this to say: “Nationally, we carry just over a 100 apprentices, with an intake of around 20 to 30 new apprentices each year. Apprentices are the future directors, engineers, designers and installers of the company and they go on to not only support the company but also the industry.”
Jack Docherty is an electrical apprentice with TClarke. He had been on course to complete his A-levels with a view to attending university but decided instead to choose an apprenticeship route, not least because his father had previously worked in construction. He feels the university alternative did not offer the right combination of training and practical experience that suited him.
Jack serves his apprenticeship on a block release basis, with two weeks at college followed by three months on site putting the theory he has learned into practise. He is required to complete reports on skills learned and work completed for a three-monthly assessment of their relevance carried out by his JTL training officer. The training officer is always there to monitor Jack’s progress and make sure he is on schedule and working to an acceptable standard
Although it was a steep learning curve to start with, Jack soon found his feet with help from his JTL training officer and TClarke colleagues. While he admits that an apprenticeship does require a commitment to work hard, he feels that the rewards in terms of promotion and career progression are there for those that do. Meanwhile, working for a large organisation like TClarke has given Jack the chance to experience a wide range of training, working on many large projects such as converting the old Lehman Brothers tower in Canary Wharf after its acquisition by JP Morgan.
“JTL are most supportive of apprenticeship candidates from start to completion, and in some instances after completion also,” TClarke’s John Burrows explains. “Apprentice candidates learn at differing levels – no two are the same. JTL seems to get this right, with encouragement through personal tutoring, and with this support each candidate makes it through to complete their training and achieve the NVQ Level 3.
“TClarke are confident in maintaining steady growth as we emerge from the prolonged recession,” he adds. “Our tendering department is extremely busy and we have been successful in acquiring a good quality workload going forward, which bodes well for our continuing commitment to train apprentices through JTL.”