Choosing the Right Apprentice in the Construction Industry

Choosing the Right Apprentice in the Construction Industry

18th February 2019

Last week here on Safety Fabrications news, we took another look at apprenticeships here in the UK, giving some advice on how to go about hiring an apprentice, with details on the first steps you’ll need to take if you want to benefit your business by offering an apprenticeship to a youngster who’s hoping to forge a career in the construction industry.  Today, as promised, we have some information for our readers on what to look for in potential apprenticeship candidates so that you make the right hire for your business.

So, here’s a list of issues to consider when interviewing would-be apprentices:

  • Fitness Level – a career in construction or scaffolding is pretty labour intensive, so make sure that you discuss fitness with any would-be apprentices right at the start.  An apprentice will need to enjoy a moderate level of fitness that will allow them to carry out their duties in a safe and effective manner, reducing the potential for any harm.
  • Work at Height – an ability to feel comfortable when working at height is essential.  Despite the fact that the candidate you decide to hire is likely to build in confidence as they carry out the work involved and they make progress in their training, an ability to work at height and a good sense of balance is vital.
  • Team Player – it’s safe to say that most industries benefit from team work, but the construction industry in particular requires efficient team work in order to operate and carry out all types of tasks in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Problem Solver – as you conduct the interviews, don’t forget to be on the lookout for somebody who shows a little initiative and problem-solving capabilities.  This means you’re likely to hire a quick learner who won’t need to be shown what to do on a continuous basis.
  • Accreditation – any apprentice you take on will need to be given the right education.  This means looking for a training provider with a tried and tested history of effective training, is in partnership with industry organisations and a pool of great instructors who will make sure that the training is carried out in depth.

Once you’ve chosen an apprentice to join your company, you’ll need to sign an apprenticeship agreement, which must be co-signed by the apprentice.  The agreement should contain details of what you agree to do for the apprentice, including:

  • How long you will employ them for
  • The type of training you’ll provide for the apprentice
  • The working conditions
  • The qualifications towards which they are working.

You will also need to sign a commitment statement with your apprentice and the organisation that will deliver their training.  This should include the following:

  • The planned content and schedule for the training they will receive
  • Details of what is expected and offered by you as an employer, by the training organisation and by the apprentice
  • Details on how to resolve any queries or complaints that may arise during the term of the apprenticeship.