Derbyshire asbestos training provider urges businesses to ‘back apprenticeships’

UK Asbestos Training Association. Picture: Andrew Roe
UK Asbestos Training Association. Picture: Andrew Roe

An asbestos training provider says taking on apprentices offers a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for young people to develop as well as boosting business.

The UK Asbestos Training Association has a long-standing commitment to apprenticeships and is celebrating the scheme’s success as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

It has recruited several apprentices over the years to work at its Markham Vale headquarters and former social media apprentice Sasha Brailsford - who started in 2015 - is now team leader, overseeing the next generation of apprentices in the workplace.

“UKATA’s experience of apprenticeships has been overwhelmingly positive,” said general manager Craig Evans.

“We are proud of our involvement and would encourage other businesses to follow in our footsteps.

“A skilled workforce is essential and taking on apprentices is a great way to develop that, while providing a fantastic opportunity for young people to develop essential, practical skills on the job.”

In the wake of Sasha’s success, UKATA has three new apprentices; Max Floyde; Saffron Spencer and Leonie Hibberd, who started in October and November as membership assistants.

As a former Derbyshire Times Business Person of the Year, Craig is keen to see SMEs in the region given the support and funding they need to develop - but also argues that those businesses that can, should back apprenticeships.

He said: “What excites me is the potential here in Chesterfield for success and apprenticeships can form a big part of that.”

Craig said his firm’s apprentices had ‘excelled over the years’ and highlighted how UKATA would not have continued taking on apprentices if it ‘was not getting something positive out of it too’.

“There are some talented young people in Chesterfield who just need businesses willing to give them the opportunity to prove it,” he said.

- For information about UKATA, visit www.ukata.org.uk or call 01246 824 437.