Spec Finish

Skills FIS member, EE Smith Contracts, is ranked 28th organisation in the UK’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers and first in the construction industry. The 27 organisations above EE Smith Contracts are from other industries; the top three were the British Army, HMRC and Royal Navy. See the full list at: www.gov.uk/government/news/top-100-apprenticeship- employers-announced (They also picked up the Construction News Award for Finishes and Fit Out Specialists of the Year 2020.) To find out how they do it, SpecFinish spoke to three members of staff who are instrumental in the success of their apprenticeship scheme. HOWTO MENTOR APPRENTICES 6 www.thefis.org F IRST of all, we spoke to Victoria Bottrill, their Marketing and Pre-Construction Co-ordinator, who told us that the company believes in three key values: “ Quality is at the forefront of everything we do, from the largest door to the tiniest screw, we go above and beyond to deliver unrivalled quality for every client. Our people are another vital factor to becoming recognised and accomplished. We strive to provide a customer experience that exceeds expectations and runs parallel to the quality of our impressive interiors. Because of our people, our headquarters run like a close-knit family business whilst operating on a multi-million-pound scale. “Last but not least we have our outstanding history , which has seen only four leaders across our 123 years. This alone sets us apart from most, but it’s the way we apply our founder, Edward Elijah’s legacy that truly makes us exceptional.” She explained that Edward trained his first apprentice, 14-year-old Basil Richardson, who went on to become director of the business, just like his son John. Since then, their in-house training has been at the heart of EE Smith as they continually invest in extensive apprenticeship programmes both on and off site, teaching invaluable, specialist skills. This dedication to training is demonstrated by their Apprentice Co-Ordinators; Paul and Andy, who inspire and teach the youngsters while also juggling full-time managerial roles. Mentoring We then spoke to Paul Kulik (Apprenticeship Co-ordinator) and Andy Carter (Contracts Manager) about the apprenticeship selection process and how they identify the people they want to invest in. Andy said: “We have a keen eye for those with a willingness to learn and thrive so we Harry McGillivary, Battersea Power Station apprentice, at the Manchester Conservative conference COVER STORY

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