The Portakabin Group, the UK’s leading modular building specialist, has won the Large Employer of the Year category at the York Apprenticeship Awards.
These awards celebrate employers’ outstanding commitment to apprenticeships and demonstrate the real benefits the scheme can bring both to young people and to businesses.
In addition to the corporate award, Jordan Bean, a Portakabin Engineering Manufacturing Apprentice, was runner up for the York Apprentice of the Year Award in the 16-24 age category.
In the past three years, the Portakabin Group has increased its recruitment of apprentices from one to more than 30 and has plans in place to significantly expand the initiative over the next two years with a view to creating a ‘Portakabin Group Academy’.
Apprentices range from joiners, electricians, plumbers, painters, a fabricator/welder and wood machinist to trainee project managers, a CAD design specialist and a draughtsperson.
Young people have been placed across the business – at the Group’s international headquarters and manufacturing centre in York, in its Hire Division, at East Yorkshire-based Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, and in its Scottish operations. The Group also now holds its own annual ‘Apprentice of the Year’ awards.
Commenting on the initiatives, Derek Carter, Chief Executive of the Portakabin Group, said, “Our experience has shown that young people bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm into the business which can really invigorate a workforce. Apprentices are constantly learning new techniques and the latest skills which they pass onto their colleagues. This approach fits really well into our commitment to encouraging innovation, fresh thinking, and creative solutions that help to reinforce our position as the UK’s market leader in modular and off-site construction.”
“The apprenticeship scheme provides us with a consistent pool of talented individuals who benefit from first-hand experience within our business and relevant qualifications to help their personal development and maximise their potential. The quality of our workforce is fundamental to the long-term success of our business and all our trainees, whether apprentices or graduates, play a vital role in ensuring we continue to achieve our aspirations and growth.”
“Apprenticeships are valued at the highest level within the Group and give us the opportunity to work with the local community and training providers, and to contribute to young people’s education. We will continue to invest in the scheme and would strongly encourage other employers, large and small, to embrace the benefits.”
In the last year, the Portakabin Group has received a number of national and regional awards and accolades in recognition of its commitment to social responsibility, community initiatives and the environment, including a Gold Award in the Business in the Community Environment Index, a Zero Waste Platinum Award, and York’s Think Green Business of the Year.
The Portakabin Group has the resources to deliver both bespoke buildings and standardised accommodation solutions to organisations in the public and private sectors, in the most challenging timescales, on almost any site, with less disruption, and less impact on the environment. Applications for Portakabin modular solutions are diverse and include open plan office accommodation, hospitals and health centres, security buildings, teaching blocks and even complete schools, for both interim and permanent uses.