Local pupils, individuals, and businesses have been learning about the benefits of apprenticeships through a series of events provided by Willmott Dixon to mark National Apprentice Week in Birmingham.

National Apprenticeship Week (March 11 to 15), being staged for the sixth year, is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

Willmott Dixon arranged for 10 students from Great Barr School, Great Barr, and nine students from Wheelers Lane Primary School, in Kings Heath, to have taster sessions at its new 4Life Academy.

The students tried their hand at a variety of trades including carpentry, plumbing, electrical and roofing, and took part in practical activities such as cutting plastic pipe. They also had the opportunity to talk to the company’s existing apprentices about the benefits of studying a practical qualification.

Alex Atterbury from Great Barr School, said: “I’ve really enjoyed having the chance to learn about the different apprenticeships on offer at Willmott Dixon. I think it’s important to know all the options open to me and being able to spend a day at the academy testing out the different trades has been very beneficial.”

Willmott Dixon provides continuous development opportunities for staff and new apprenticeships on an annual basis. The company’s ‘Opening Doors’ work experience programme gives local people taster sessions of building and maintenance trades.

Willmott Dixon apprentice, Reece Bell aged 22 from Erdington, also attended the CITBConstructionskills Ethnic Business Network event at Walsall Football Club on 13 March, where he discussed his experiences of the apprentice programme and explained the opportunities available to employers and young people within the construction industry.

Reece said: “This week has been a really good opportunity for me to talk to people about my experiences of being a Willmott Dixon apprentice, and how it has helped me to gain qualifications in a working trade. I’d really like to encourage other young people thinking about applying for an apprenticeship to go for it.”

Mick Williamson, managing director of Willmott Dixon Partnerships said; “The activities held this week are very much part of our ethos called Transforming Communities, which is about how we can make a real, positive difference to the lives of people living locally. We want to play an active part in delivering initiatives that leave real legacy and recently wrote a report, called Transforming Communities, to share ideas and help organisations deliver sustainable growth to help communities through these current austere times.”

Willmott Dixon is currently working with Birmingham City Council to repair and maintain 60,000 properties in the city. It’s two contracts for the north and south of the city includes the areas of Edgbaston, Hall Green, Northfield, Selly Oak, Ladywood, Erdington, Perry Bar and Sutton Coldfield.