Travis Perkins plc is the largest provider of apprenticeships in the construction sector with over 1,100 apprentices currently working in the business.

The 15th Annual National Apprenticeship Week takes place this week between 7-13 February, bringing together businesses and apprentices across the UK to highlight the positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals, companies and the economy.

The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is 'build the future'. It underlines how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career while affording businesses the opportunity to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.

The importance of apprenticeships within the construction industry is particularly significant when viewed through the lens of today’s sector challenges. Figures released by the Federation of Master Builders in late 2021 reported that over half of the UK’s small and medium-sized house builders in England couldn’t find the workers they needed to build their homes.

More widely, construction has other challenges to contend with, such as an aging workforce and lack of diversity. Then there is the race to net zero carbon and the modern methods of construction transformation - all of which combined means there is an urgent need to drive change and invest in skills and the youth of today in order to provide long term solutions for tomorrow.

Travis Perkins plc, a leading partner to the construction industry and the UK’s biggest distributor of building materials, is the largest provider of apprenticeships in the construction sector. With over 1,100 apprentices currently working in the business, it is at the vanguard of this drive.

In addition to forming part of the effort to resolve existing industry challenges, the company sees apprenticeships as a vital ingredient in its recruitment and retention plan to help attract a younger and more gender balanced and diverse workforce to the sector to support its evolution.

Travis Perkins offers 45 different apprenticeship programmes, from branch to boardroom. These are broken down into three key areas: work experience, early careers and career development. These programmes cover all major job roles across the construction supply sector, including specialist roles such as kitchen design or data management, and programmes such as Warehouse to Wheels, in which colleagues who want to become drivers are sponsored by the Group.

Among the colleagues enrolled in Travis Perkins’ range of apprenticeship programmes is Emily, Branch Apprentice at Keyline, Peterborough, who joined the Group in 2021. She was first attracted to the variety of different career paths that Travis Perkins offered as well as the developmental support and training available to apprentices. Today, Emily is the Project Director for the Travis Perkins Youth Board’s Awareness Team.

Gary, a Stock and Systems Manager for Travis Perkins General Merchanting, had been working as a supervisor for several years and recently decided that it was time to progress in his career and broaden his skills and knowledge of the business.

Alongside working, studying and juggling family life, Gary was one of the first apprentices to complete a four-year apprenticeship with The Open University. With the support of his manager and family, he successfully achieved his Level 6 Apprenticeship in Leadership, equivalent to a Bachelor's Degree, enabling him to improve as a manager and progress through the business.

National Apprenticeship Week aims to highlight the exceptional work being done by employers and apprentices across the country. Travis Perkins intends to recruit over 500 vacancies as apprenticeships in 2022 and, with over 20 brands operating across 1,700 locations, wants to share its experience and work with all industry partners to go further on the skills agenda together.