Building for future: training programme sidesteps predicted EU exodus
13 July 2017 by Emma Forster
Fast-growing Bristol builder Helm Construction is backing its in-house training programme to keep numbers up following the widely predicted exodus following Brexit.
Helm Construction Chief Executive Gary Sheppard says warnings that large numbers of builders currently working in the UK will return home after the country leaves the EU will have limited effect on firms which prioritise training their own personnel.
“Like most builders we factor in a fairly high turnover rate as a number of qualified builders branch out on their own or with a small firm – especially during the good times.
“We have an award winning reputation for developing team members from within and by constantly investing in new staff we can bring forward the next generation of skilled workers ready to step up when they are needed. We also try and restrict the numbers of subbies we have on our sites across Bristol.”
Gary Sheppard was responding to warnings from the British Property Foundation which predicts the UK labour market will not be able to fill tens of thousands of jobs held by migrant workers.
Gary Sheppard said: “Despite the dire warnings over Brexit the construction sector actually picked up speed in the first four months of 2017 – confounding commentators who had predicted a big slump in response to shaky exchange rates and the early General Election.
“While we are not complacent as to the potential fallout we do have a strong team in place backed up by a number of youngsters working towards their NVQ3s – as we find the higher qualification we ask for delivers better trained employees better able to keep abreast of the latest on-site technologies.
“There is a massive difference between properly-informed time-saving methods and cutting corners on site.
We believe in development of the individual from the apprentice up – and even our top trainers attend regular top-up courses to ensure they are passing on the right knowledge in the right way.”
Helm Construction is one of the fastest growing and progressive construction firms in the South West – employing more than 50 people on a dozen and more sites across the Greater Bristol and Bath area.