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Morgan Sindall celebrates National Apprenticeship Week at Oldham Town Hall

A photograph of a team of apprentices stood with Oldham Council and Morgan Sindall staff

Morgan Sindall gathered apprentices at its Old Town Hall site in Oldham to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week. With apprentices and trainees making up more than eight per cent of Morgan Sindall’s workforce – well above the industry target of five percent - this was a celebratory event for the company.

There are currently 16 apprentices, two of whom are from the local area, working on the Old Town Hall site, which is part of a £32 million scheme to transform it into a state-of-the-art leisure hub.

The ambitious project for Oldham Council will turn the Grade-II listed building into a vibrant facility, complete with an 800 seat multi-screen ODEON cinema, restaurant and retail outlets.

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week ran from March 14 to March 18 and is co-ordinated by the Skills Funding Agency. The week includes hundreds of events and activities across England to showcase apprentices and apprentice employers.

Morgan Sindall has a strong track record in encouraging and developing the next generation of talent. It has marked its commitment to enabling diversity by joining the 5% Club, an industry group where members pledge that five per cent of their work force will consist of apprentices, sponsored students and or graduates on formalised training schemes within five years of joining the scheme.

18-year-old apprentice Jordan Bowman, an Oldham resident, started his career two years ago when he left school and embarked on his Level 1 Electrical Installations NVQ. Jordan subsequently started his apprenticeship in April and is now working on the Oldham Town Hall project.

Jordan said: “My dad’s a builder, so when I left school I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to people as you get the best of both worlds. It is the best way to learn and earn money at the same time. At the end of my apprenticeship I would like to get taken on by a company, but if not, I have the skills to go on and start my own company.

“Working on the Old Town Hall is a great opportunity and working on a cinema means I’m learning a lot on this project. Watching and shadowing people and learning by doing things means I am learning new skills all the time.

Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader, said: “This project is hugely significant for Oldham and it was fantastic to go on site earlier this month to see the restoration work going on.”

“We are a large employer and we lead by example to actively promote apprenticeships to other businesses, organisations and residents through schemes like Get Oldham Working.

“We are delighted that apprentices are benefiting from the flagship Old Town Hall development. Many more will benefit in the future as work like this to transform Oldham town centre continues to attract more large, medium and specialist businesses to the borough, boosting the local economy and creating more apprentice opportunities.”

Barry Roberts, Morgan Sindall’s area director for the North West, is an enthusiastic supporter of apprenticeships.

He said: “Providing the next generation with the necessary skills to be the next project managers, quantity surveyors, designers, and project team members is critical to the future of the industry.

“The construction industry faces a serious skills shortage and in order for the industry to make the most of the opportunities which the economic recovery presents, it needs about 30,000 new skilled workers each year - that’s about double the number of apprentices the industry is training up at the moment. A key part of answering this challenge is repositioning our business as a sector that’s attractive to ambitious young people looking to forge successful careers and putting the structure in place to ensure they’re equipped with the skills they need to thrive in our industry.”

“Our trainees currently make up over eight per cent of our workforce, which is a significant proportion. They play a hugely important role in the business, bringing unique skills, qualities and insights to the table.”

  • For more information about this news release please contact Robert Jenkins at Influential on 0151 239 5000 or email Jenkins@thisisinfluential.com