Paul Woodhead, the first apprentice taken on by specialist supplier of low maintenance building products, GB Plastics, is now a full-time member of the team at the company’s Rugeley branch and head office.

He has been taken on as branch assistant after working as an apprentice branch assistant for 12-months, and completing his NVQ Level 2 in Warehousing and Storage.

Mr Woodhead is one of a growing band of apprentices working at GB Plastics’ six-branch network across the Midlands, with another apprentice due to finish their initial 12 months, another splitting her time between college and work, a fourth apprentice six months into his initial 12 months, and plans to recruit at least one more apprentice this year.

He will now continue with his training and development through continuous in-house training, supplier and product-specific training, as well as maintain his studies with an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service.

“We are thrilled that our apprenticeship programme is working so well for us all, and to be able to offer Paul a full-time role at our Rugeley branch,” said GB Plastics’ director, Alan Sutherland.

“All businesses have a great opportunity to train and model the next generation of business owners and future employers. At one time, the GB Plastics team were unsure of our potential role and responsibilities for training the younger generation. It was a particular challenge for us as an independent specialist builders’ merchant, with no fixed training scheme in place; we don’t make or install anything so we didn’t feel that we were the type of business that should or even could have apprentices.

“However, in practice the apprenticeship programme and route is proving to be excellent, and a win-win for both the business and the next generation of employees.”

Picture caption: GB Plastics’ first apprentice Paul Woodhead (right) is now a full-time member of the team, pictured with director Alan Sutherland (centre) and its Rugeley branch manager Paul Tooth (left).