27th February 2012 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West, has been spending time with a local building firm to find out more about life as an apprentice. Stephen met two carpentry apprentices from Federation of Master Builders (FMB) member firm Distinction Property Services Ltd, in conjunction with CITB-ConstructionSkills.
Stephen’s visit came not long after National Apprenticeship Week 2012 (6 – 10 February) when over 500 events were organized up and down the country to celebrate the country’s apprentices and the benefits they bring to business.
The Bristol West MP spent time with apprentices Sam Brown and Jordan Smith, under the supervision of Distinction Property Services Ltd director Gareth Guiver, as they helped to build a partition wall inside a commercial property in Clifton, Bristol.
Stephen Williams MP, said:
“To develop our economy we need to acquire skills. An apprenticeship is the best way of doing that. An apprenticeship is still something everyone in the country has heard of and this is a good thing. Greater Bristol has 44,000 employers, and if they all take on an apprentice that is a huge difference. I am pleased to be here today to see apprentices at work and congratulate FMB for their good work in this area.”
Previous Regional FMB Master Builder of the Year Winner, Gareth Guiver, Director at Distinction Property Services Ltd, said:
"We were really pleased to have Stephen on site today. His visit has been a good opportunity to show off what a great job our apprentices do, and to explain the value we place on working directly with our trainees to ensure we have the right people with the right skills. However, during the present times we appreciate it is difficult for any small to medium-sized business to be confident enough to take on a new apprentice, which is why we hope Stephen will continue to work with everyone he met today to ensure continued support from the Government for our industry and the skills we need to grow."
Stephen Williams MP visits Distinction - Left to right: Sam Brown, Apprentice Carpenter (Level 2), Distinction Property Services, Gareth Guiver, Director, Distinction Property Services, Roger Stone, Sector Strategy Manager (South West), CITB-ConstructionSkills, Stephen Williams MP, Bristol West, Richard Brown, Director, Distinction Property Services, Jordan Smith, Apprentice Carpenter (Level 2), Distinction Property Services and Ron Willers, South West Regional Director, Federation of Master Builders
Ron Willers, FMB South West Regional Director, said:
“Spending time with the apprentices at Distinction Property Services Ltd means I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of taking on an apprentice. However in the current economic climate it’s hard for many small businesses to know what the future holds and anticipate workloads, which can make taking on an apprentice a daunting prospect. It’s pleasing to see the Government offer an incentive payment to SMEs taking on their first apprentice, but it would work even better if there was more flexibility so that all small businesses including those with a recent history of employing apprentices could benefit.”
Roger Stone OBE, Sector Strategy Manager for CITB-ConstructionSkills said:
“’Apprentices are the lifeblood of the construction industry. I hope that by working with Stephen, Distinction Property Services Ltd and the FMB today, we can encourage other employers to support apprenticeship training and prepare the industry’s future workforce.”