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Innovating Apprenticeships: Ian Williams’ Success With Remote Learning

06 Feb 2024
“We weren't restricted by where our apprentices were in the country because the Growth Company could respond wherever they were.”

At the Growth Company Education and Skills, we understand that learning and development is essential for businesses to innovate and thrive. We offer a wide range of apprenticeships to help you achieve your business goals and work with you every step of the way.

Ian Williams specialises in the direct delivery of innovative property services to homes and buildings across housing, education, retirement living, and commercial sectors. Due to the variety of tasks their apprentices are required to perform, they found certain traditional trade apprenticeships were no longer meeting their needs, or the learners’ needs.

After some research they discovered our level 2 Property Maintenance Operative Apprenticeship, now around eight apprentices have completed their programme and a further eight have enrolled. The unique delivery of this programme has meant that the apprentices can complete their programme from anywhere in the country, and they have apprentices spread across the country from Bournemouth, Cardiff and all the way up to Burnley.

We caught up with Sian Pearce, Training and Development Manager at Ian Williams, to find out more about her experience working with the Growth Company and how apprenticeships have helped the business.

Why did you choose the Growth Company?

Ian Williams has recruited apprentices for years, however, we found that when the new standards came in our apprentices weren’t learning all of the skills they needed anymore. When we saw the Property Maintenance Operative apprenticeship, we thought that would be a better fit but we were unable to find any colleges that offered this. After some research we found the Growth Company, which was a different route for us as we’ve only ever worked with colleges.

The Growth Company came in and provided an opportunity for us to pilot the programme and see how it worked for our organisation, after it was successful more of the businesses in the organisation decided they wanted to do the same, so we were able to build on that. We weren't restricted by where our apprentices were in the country because the Growth Company could respond wherever they were.

What benefits have your apprentices brought to the business?

Due to the nature of their role, our apprentices are required to have a variety of skills and the Property Maintenance Operative programme provides them with these. Also with some more traditional apprenticeships we had to shuffle staff around the country to gain the skills they needed on different sites and this new programme has reduced the need for this.

How have you found your experience working with the Growth Company?

The Growth Company drives the process through from start to finish. With the Growth Company they are very focused on the apprentice completing successfully and how they are progressing throughout the programme, encouraging them throughout. We've never had the sense that any of them might fail, one of our apprentices had to repeat part of the process but thanks to the support they were able to complete that with ease, and we’ve now had eight complete the full process.

Their Skills Development Trainer, Russell, goes out of his way to support our apprentices on a one-to-one basis. He gives a lot of his time to help them to pull together their portfolios of evidence.

Would you recommend working with the Growth Company to others?

Yes! I regularly deal with problems for our other apprentices but for the Property Maintenance Operatives I haven’t had any issues come to me, everything is taken care of in the background which keeps the process running much more smoothly.

Find out more about how an apprenticeship can help your business and how we can support you and your apprentices to thrive.