A Chinese Minister recently visited Travis Perkins to see its award-winning apprenticeship model in action.

The Vice Minister for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China, Tang Tao, went to the Group’s Northampton Head Office last week to find out how Travis Perkins has developed their scheme at the Group’s Northampton Head Office last week.

He was joined by his ministerial team and the Head of Education and Skills at the Department for International Trade, Liu Jing.

The visit was coordinated by WorldSkills UK, which works to improve apprenticeships and technical education, in collaboration with The Education and Skills Funding Agency and Department for Education, which aims to deepen the understanding of skills training between China and the UK.

Travis Perkins’ apprenticeship scheme currently has more than 650 apprentices nationwide, working across a wide range of programmes; from retail and digital marketing to sales and operations.

The guests heard from Sam Crichton, an apprentice who was recently promoted to assistant branch manager for Benchmarx, part of the Travis Perkins Group.

Crichton told them about the modular-based development plan that has been tailored specifically to him and his branch needs, to build the relevant knowledge and skills and maximise the social, business and personal value of his apprenticeship.

Travis Perkins’ CEO, John Carter, also started his career as an apprentice. He said: “Our philosophy is very much that it’s our people who make our business great.

“We have an innovative and visionary training and development programme in place to support this belief, and we were delighted to be able to share our insight with the senior delegation from China to support the ideas they are developing for their own people and also exchange reciprocal ideas for the future.

“We are honoured that the Vice Minister and his team chose to visit Travis Perkins.”