Construction workers shine a light on apprenticeships

Construction workers shine a light on apprenticeships

Construction workers across South London are highlighting the benefits of becoming an apprentice in a bid to increase numbers. 

More construction apprentices are needed across the region as figures reveal thousands of workers will need to be hired to help ensure some of the city’s biggest projects are completed on time. 

A collection of apprentices, former apprentices and tutors from colleges and businesses across South London have joined forces to shine a light on the benefits of having a career in construction. One of those is assistant site manager Jannai Mason-Dennis who is working on a site in Kensington, creating a luxury multi-million-pound property with contractor Walter Lilly. The campaign includes two virtual information events, which are taking place later this month – see further below for details. 

Jannai, 24, has finished his apprenticeship and said it’s fantastic to see others around him following in his footsteps. 

“Before my apprenticeship, I worked as an unskilled labourer on the Battersea Power Station Project,” he said. “I knew I liked the industry, and being a labourer you not only see everything that happens on site but you get to chat with tradespeople about their work. Doing an apprenticeship was recommended to me by another labourer. 

“Since starting my apprenticeship family and friends have seen what a positive impact it’s had on me and a few of them have also decided to do an apprenticeship in construction.” 

Jannai said there are a number of benefits to doing an apprenticeship and he feels it has set him on the right path to a good career in construction. “An apprenticeship is a way to earn while you learn,” he said. “I was keen to increase my skillset in construction but wanted to do it while earning money and my apprenticeship ticked all the boxes. 

“I completed a site management apprenticeship and achieved an NVQ Level 3 then moved on to an NVQ Level 6. I was on site most days with one day a week at college, which suited me because I’m definitely a hands-on learner. Besides the day-to-day running of the construction site I also learnt a range of other important skills, such as communication. My apprenticeship definitely made me a better speaker and taught me to work with people from all walks of life. 

“I’d encourage anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship to go to their college and have a chat with the tutors. It’s a great career to have and in ten years’ time I’d like to be a senior site manager or site operations manager. My main aim is the work up the career ladder in construction.” 

Jannai is working with the South London Partnership (SLP) in a bid to encourage more people to become construction apprentices – and also to attract construction tutors. The SLP is a sub-regional collaboration of five London boroughs: Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton. 

Supported by the Mayor of London, the campaign comes after research revealed a shortage of workers in the construction industry. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently released its annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) report which shows that Greater London needs 22,800 extra workers by 2027 – that means an annual recruitment boost of 4,560. 

The campaign is seeing councils, colleges and businesses in South London working together to find the construction apprentices and tutors needed across the industry. 

The virtual events include one for anyone wanting information on becoming a tutor on March 27 at 5pm and one for apprentices on March 30 at 4.30pm 

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