Travis Perkins has been awarded a ‘good’ Ofsted rating in all aspects of its apprenticeship programme offering, following a recent inspection.

At the time of the inspection, 831 apprentices, most of whom are aged over 19, were enrolled with the company, with over half studying qualifications in operations management, team leading and trade supplies.

Around 90 apprentices are on a specialist fitted furniture design technician apprenticeship, and the remainder are on courses in retail, business and customer service.

Off-the-job training is delivered online by apprenticeship coaches, supported by apprenticeship development managers. Branch managers act as mentors for apprentices.

Functional skills tutors provide training in English and mathematics at levels 1 and 2 for those who need to achieve a pass in these subjects, and around 30 of them are receiving support for additional learning needs.

Inspectors took account of the TP’s most recent self-assessment report and development plans, and the previous inspection report. They collected a wide range of evidence to inform judgements, including visiting learning sessions, scrutinising learners’ work, seeking the views of learners, staff and other stakeholders, and examining the company’s documentation and records.

The report notably found that:

  • Travis Perkins’ apprentices enjoy their course and are positive about their experience, and many gain promotion.
  • Programme leaders have a very good understanding of the construction sector and ensure apprentices receive insights into key sector drivers in the industry, such as sustainability and retrofitting current housing stock to comply with sustainability standards. 
  • Apprentices benefit from interactions with experienced and well-qualified staff, who guide them carefully through their learning, and they value the high quality of their learning materials, training and online sessions.
  • Leaders work widely and closely with national partners, such as employers’ trailblazer groups, which help leaders to influence and promote training across the construction industry.
  • There is a commitment to raising the profile of groups traditionally underrepresented in the construction industry, resulting in an apprentice population increasingly reflective of the diversity of the UK’s workforce.

Travis Perkins is a top 100 Apprenticeship Employer and a leading provider of apprenticeships in the UK, with a focus on both encouraging individuals to join the construction industry through its range of entry level programmes, as well as upskilling those already in role through career development apprenticeships.

The Group, which offers apprenticeships in all its market leading businesses, including Travis Perkins Builders’ Merchants, Toolstation, Keyline, BSS and CCF, has over 1,250 individuals currently on apprenticeship programmes, covering a range of subjects including sales, buying and merchandising, data and management.

It is widely understood that the construction sector is suffering from a major skills shortage, with industry sources estimating the need for over 200,000 new workers by 2027 to meet forecast demand.

The skills shortage has been compounded not only by the urgent need for traditional skills, but also by the growing range of new skill sets required to deliver the UK’s priorities, such as modernising the construction industry and helping to meet net zero targets.

Travis Perkins is constantly evolving its award-winning apprenticeship offering to ensure the next generation of workers have the skills required to meet the demands of the future – whether in supporting customers to achieve net zero or evolving digital capabilities.

Already, all of Travis Perkins’ apprenticeship programmes include a module on ESG, while plans are afoot to integrate a new data and digital module.

Furthermore, to help meet industry demand, earlier this year, Travis Perkins announced an ambition to train 10,000 apprentices by 2030.

To support this, the company has recently extended its apprenticeship offering to the wider industry via the Builders Merchants Federation, to attract new and more diverse talent to construction, and to accelerate the learning of new skills needed to sustain the industry for the future.

Andy Raynor, Director of LEAP Apprenticeships and Early Careers, commented: “The Ofsted report findings are a fantastic vote of confidence in Travis Perkins’ apprenticeship programme.

“Apprenticeships are a crucial vehicle for upskilling not just our workforce, but also serving the construction industry of the future, and I am very proud of Travis Perkins’ role at the forefront of this.”

Emma Rose, Chief HR Officer at Travis Perkins plc, commented: “Travis Perkins is committed to building better communities and modernising construction by developing the next generation – this Ofsted report is a testament to our talented teams’ dedication to our vision.

“I am particularly pleased about the report’s  recognition that our efforts to improve diversity are helping to raise the profile of groups traditionally underrepresented in the construction industry.

“Nearly half of our apprentices are challenged by living in disadvantaged areas, and this report recognises how these apprentices have found in us a workplace that will support and foster their potential, with a majority of them achieving high grades and going on to further study and promotions.

“Having recently extended our apprenticeship offering to the wider industry, this report should also give confidence to those employers in the industry who entrust their apprentices to us, that we will help them to accelerate the learning of new skills needed for their businesses and the industry for the future.”