With SMEs in the construction sector training roughly three-quarters of all construction apprentices, FMB members have a proud history building the future workforce for the sector. While countless FMB members have had excellent experiences resulting from apprenticeships over the years, FMB member, Mitchells Construction, based in East Sussex, recently got in touch to relay their own apprenticeship success story.  

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2021, we spoke with our member Mitchells Construction in more depth to explore what had made this particular apprenticeship such a success from both the employer’s and apprentice’s perspective.

The employer – Mitchells Construction

As an established small business specialising in high quality new homes and extensions, taking on an apprentice seemed a logical step in our company growth. We wanted to find the right, motivated candidate to teach new skills, good working practices and (importantly) the value of working together as a team, with the goal of us gaining a valuable, highly skilled employee while also giving a young person an opportunity to begin a successful career in construction.

The team at East Sussex College were instrumental in helping us search for the right candidate, taking care of all the advertising, shortlisting and administration work. We were inundated with applications for the position and after a lengthy process of shortlisting, interviews, and a working trial period, we were delighted to offer Harvey a position as a carpentry and joinery apprentice within our team.

I believe finding an apprentice who is a good fit on a personal level for your business is critical. As a young person entering the world of work for the first time, it can certainly be a daunting proposition. As an employer you need to make allowances to enable the apprentice the opportunity to build confidence and skills to work effectively and safely. To be a success, the apprentice needs to genuinely want to learn and there must be a willingness from the employer to teach.

As a company, taking on an apprentice has given us increased confidence knowing we will have another skilled team member to support the business in the future. We are confident that the investment we have made in training will pay dividends, as we will have an employee capable of working confidently at the usual high standards that are rightly expected of our company.  

The apprentice - Harvey

Starting my new role as an apprentice was a bit daunting, as I’m not the most confident around new people. This was my first job following school and I didn’t have any experience of construction or using tools.

My employer has really helped me to feel confident and comfortable on-site and has taken the time to properly explain and clearly show me how things are done the correct and safe way. I really enjoy being able to learn hands-on and use my new skills on a daily basis, while contributing to actual projects.

I’m so pleased to have had this opportunity to work for and be taught by such a respected local business. I would really recommend the apprenticeship scheme to others my age, as I feel like I am getting a head start into a career over friends who have carried on with full-time education.



To explore how you can get involved in training the future of the construction sector and supporting young people into work, take a look at the FMB’s Ultimate Guide to Apprenticeships.