Errigal apprentices on site in Monaghan.
As the skills shortage across the construction industry in the UK and Ireland continues to cause alarm, a leading company has underlined its commitment to addressing the issue by revealing it has invested £6.5million in its Training Academy over the last five years.
Errigal Contracts, which has a manufacturing base in Antrim, specialises in partition systems, external facade, recladding, interior fitout, ceilings and bespoke solutions, has been offering apprenticeship and undergraduate programmes since 2016 in response to the growing demand for a trained and skilled workforce across the industry.
The company has recently announced that it is now recruiting its next intake of apprentices through its purpose-built Training Academy and is encouraging anyone interested in a future career in construction to apply now.
With significant growth and investment in its training programmes over the past five years, Errigal’s City & Guilds-approved Training Academy provides a range of different employment opportunities for its graduates.
The Academy’s Apprenticeship Scheme sees each student offered a full-time permanent position with Errigal after the successful completion of a two-year course, during which the student will also earn £32,000. This apprenticeship includes Level 2 Diploma in Drylining and a Level 2 NVQ in Interior Systems along with certificates in a number of other areas.
On completion of the apprenticeship students are guaranteed a full-time job with the company. In addition, the apprentices are also given guidance on finance management and practical life skills which will benefit them when working on projects away from home.
Errigal Contracts Training Academy also offers a specialised Degree Programme, designed for those with a thirst for a rewarding career in the construction industry.
The company currently has 19 undergraduates in the Degree Programme working across Quantity Surveying, Construction Management, Design Technology, Procurement and Finance and all at various stages from years one to five.
Students complete their degree on a part-time basis while working on live projects, many of which are landmark buildings such as 22 Bishopsgate in London and Battersea Power Station.
Errigal Contracts Managing Director Damien Treanor said the company is very proud of the progress the academy has made in such a short period of time and of the high-quality craftspeople that are emerging from it.
He said: “We developed a five-year plan and at the heart of this was our young people and our aspiration to properly train our workforce.
“We made the decision to develop our own Training Academy, so we could ensure that the students were being taught the Errigal Way. We selected people who had been with Errigal for at least 10 years who then became certified tutors and assessors.
"Our commitment is to train and provide for the futures for young people in construction right across Ireland, the UK and Europe.
“It was a proud moment in all of our careers when we became the first training provider and drywall company to have one of our apprentices, Brendan Duddy, selected for the WorldSkills UK Talent Development Programme.
“The 46th WorldSkills Competition will be hosted in Shanghai, China in October 2022 and will feature over 1,400 competitors from more than 60 countries and regions, competing in over 60 skills.
“Brendan is currently training for the WorldSkills one week every month and has just completed his first International Pressure test in the City of Glasgow College against Brazil. He is working very hard to achieve his goals and is a shining example to all within the industry."
Damien said this is an exciting time for young people to be entering into the construction industry.
He said: “Construction is changing rapidly and with the advancements in digital construction there are so many different specialisms within the industry.
“We can support the ambitions of apprentices and undergraduates and as the industry continues to change and develop, so too will their professional development as we invest in our people, it’s the Errigal Way.
Errigal Contracts was recently awarded the Supply Chain Champion for Employment and skills award by Vistry Partnerships – this was primarily due to the company’s recruitment of apprentices and undergraduates and the large number of opportunities it provides.
Damien said: “Technology is really starting to drive the construction industry and open so many more exciting career paths. People need to move away from the image that the industry only provides low paid manual jobs.
“As Errigal Contracts pay course fees as well as a salary, students who successfully complete the programmes will begin their working career free from student debt.”
Deadline for applications for the Apprenticeship Scheme is Friday 16 July. Successful applicants will be interviewed from the third week in July with the new apprentices set to begin training in August. To find out how you can apply for the Errigal Contracts Training Academy visit www.errigalcontracts.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org