An innovative collaboration between Shrewsbury Colleges Group and a local building contractor is supporting a record number of young people on their paths to future construction industry careers.

 Shropshire-based SJ Roberts Construction Ltd has partnered with Shrewsbury Colleges Group since 2004 on the delivery of its apprenticeship programme and has now extended its relationship with the college to include a wider range of training pathways that could lead to careers in construction and housebuilding. A total of 36 students are currently involved in apprenticeship training that is supported by the SJ Roberts team.

Aside from 36 apprentices who are currently training with the company, four T-Level students and one BTEC student spend one day a week on site with SJ Roberts Construction across a range of different construction environments. A further two students completing Level 4 and 5 qualifications in Quantity Surveying and Site Supervisor roles, along with T Level students, will attend guest lectures delivered by both SJ Roberts Construction and their sister company Lowfield Timber Frames. Other students will get involved in a series of site visits and trade masterclasses, and work experience has been organised for two HNC Site Management students, as well as others on appropriate courses.

Speaking of the growing partnership with Shrewsbury Colleges Group, MD of SJ Roberts Construction Ltd, Mike Sambrook said:

“We so often hear the construction sector complain about a lack of skilled labour, but we’ve recognised that won’t change if we’re not prepared to invest in the training process itself.

“We’ve long supported apprentices and have witnessed the positive contribution that they make to the company, but it’s worth remembering that there’s a myriad of pathways that lead to careers in construction which is why we’ve actively extended our partnership with Shrewsbury Colleges Group.”

Stuart Raine, Curriculum Director for Construction and Built Environment Studies at Shrewsbury Colleges Group added:

“We’re delighted to have such a strong and long-standing partnership in place with SJ Roberts and Lowfield Timber Frames. The ability for our students to have practical experience either through apprenticeships or work experience placements is hugely beneficial in their development of skills for the workplace. We know that our students will get the best possible introduction to a working life through SJ Roberts and Lowfield Timber Frames.”

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