Jarrow building firm boss in line for national award
Chris Green, commercial director at Tyneside Home Improvements (THI), recognised the value of apprenticeships when he joined the firm in 2020 – amid the turbulence caused by the pandemic, haulage crisis and soaring materials costs
He took on six apprentices after noticing the booming firm’s youngest builders, joiners and plasterers were all well into their 30s – and that creating the next generation of trained staff was in their own hands.
As firms up and down the country mark National Apprentice Week, Mr Green has been nominated in the Rising Star category of the Glass and Glazing Products (GGP) Installer Awards.
Mr Green, 49, said: "I strongly believed apprentices were vital for the ongoing success of the company, although some in the industry felt young people weren’t interested in learning a trade but It's hard to explain just how much the younger people have added to our team.
"Their presence has energised our more experienced workers, who are happy to pass on knowledge and helped create a more positive culture within our workforce.
“It has been a success.”
THI currently employs two joinery apprentices, 17-year-old Callum Patterson and Lewis Bramwell, 23.
Two further 17-year-olds, apprentice builder Kane Adams and Owen McClarence, an apprentice plasterer, have also joined the firm.
All apprentices are studying with Gateshead and Tyne Coast colleges, which they attend one day a week.
Charlotte Edgell and Becky Willis are mature apprentices who were already working for THI and are now studying for qualifications in their fields.
Mr Green will find out if he has won at a ceremony at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on March 14.
The firm is also in the running for "best heritage installation" in the national awards – after the construction of a stunning conservatory alongside grade II listed period property in the remote village of Romaldkirk in Teesdale.
THI was also shortlisted in the Installer of the Year at the Glass & Glazing Industry's G Awards.
Chris, who works closely with managing director Kevin Kerr, added: "People who care is the key to success.
"When I came here, despite the global turmoil which was being caused by the pandemic, I saw so much potential and scope for development.”
National Apprenticeship Week aims to raise awareness of the many benefits apprenticeships can offer you.
It aims to highlight the advantages of a skills training pathway which allows people of all ages to ‘learn as they’ earn – getting the benefit of ‘on the job’ training combined with college learning days.
In a typical week, apprentices spend four days at work and one at university, college, or a training provider.
Some apprenticeships also do block learning, where they can study for a week at a time.
The week is supported by hundreds of major companies up and down the country – from major national brands to small local concerns.
For details about National Apprentice Week, go to https://nationalapprenticeshipweek.co.uk/