ACR-News
14 March 2016

J S Wright Academy builds sustainable workforce

Academy leader and associate director Paul Millington (pictured right), who has guided the academy since its birth, is planning its ninth annual outdoor meeting this summer, having developed successful partnerships with companies including Rehau, Polypipe Terrain, Victaulic and Worcester Bosch.

J S Wright, the building services provider, has increased its workforce by 50% over the past decade and has now welcomed the 40th new recruit to its Apprentice Academy.

Launched in 2008, the training forum has proved so successful that 49 of the company’s 140 employees are current or former J S Wright apprentices.      

The 126-year-old firm, which has offices in Birmingham, Bristol and London is now marking its support for National Apprenticeship Week by announcing plans to recruit at least another five high quality trade and technical trainees this year. 

The move follows the company’s success in securing its biggest-ever contract, worth more than £27m, to equip the new luxury 441-home Keybridge development, incorporating Britain’s tallest brick residential tower, in central London.

Managing director Marcus Aniol has no doubt that the Apprentice Academy has enabled the company to fill the skills gap within the construction industry and talent-sport its leaders of tomorrow.

He said: “Our current and former apprentices, who now make up a phenomenal 35% of our workforce, are making an invaluable contribution to our success as we continue to expand our business nationally with an ever-growing order book.”

“We launched our academy as a number of senior engineers were nearing retirement to attract high quality trainees, instill in them our values of integrity, loyalty and quality, and help them develop as our future leaders,” he added.   

All J S Wright’s craft and technical apprentices, working out of the company’s Aston and London offices on projects ranging from hotels and care homes to offices and luxury apartments, automatically become members of the J S Wright Academy, where they benefit from workshops hosted by suppliers, adventure training, and seminars by experienced J S Wright engineers.

Academy leader and associate director Paul Millington (pictured right), who has guided the academy since its birth, is planning its ninth annual outdoor meeting this summer, having developed successful partnerships with companies including Rehau, Polypipe Terrain, Victaulic and Worcester Bosch.

Last year’s event saw members put their problem-solving skills to the test in Coventry with a pipe assembly challenge at Georg Fischer whose staff also gave valuable practical technical presentations to the apprentices.

The two-day meeting included a hotel stay with the presentation of the annual J S Wright Apprentice of the Year award, and a day at Adventure Sport in Warwick with activities designed to encourage leadership and team-building skills.

Paul Millington said: “The training with our suppliers has proved invaluable to the company because it has not only improved the technical knowledge of our apprentices but also helped develop their communication skills.

“This is shown by the confidence our apprentices show in delivering key worksite requirements including effective toolbox talks, training newer members, and working effectively with colleagues, contractors and suppliers.”

While encouraging apprentices to follow a career path that can lead all the way to board level, the academy’s success has been reflected in the eight national training awards that J S Wright has won since 2008.

Pictured right: J S Wright Academy members on a visit to Georg Fischer in Coventry

 

 

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