The latest phase of a major collaboration between a leading college group and a national developer is set to benefit students across the region.
WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) and Taylor Wimpey Midlands are creating a training facility for apprentice bricklayers at Moreton Morrell College.
As part of the partnership an area has been provided to enable bricklayers to practice their building skills.
Work is still ongoing to develop the space, but the initial cohort of bricklayers have enjoyed four days of practical training with master craftsman Gez Baldwin at Moreton Morrell College.
The work has included a day’s theory to help them gain a great understanding of the jobs a qualified bricklayer is expected to carry out on a Taylor Wimpey site.
Mark Bonham, assistant principal at WCG, said: “Through the new training facility, everything will be geared towards making sure each student that passes through the training program develops the tools they need to become the best brickie they can be.
“At the facility they will receive knowledge of the trade giving them the confidence they need to utilise their newly learnt skills whilst on jobs.
“Alongside their training, the apprentices are carrying out maintenance jobs around the campus – and are operating in a sustainable way by using bricks due to be thrown away to complete jobs. This is hugely helpful to us in the day-to-day running of the college.
“The partnership between Taylor Wimpey and WCG has been great for all parties. Through our joint efforts to create a high-class training facility, this will level up the bricklayer apprenticeship program.”
The apprentices were recruited as part of Taylor Wimpey’s latest recruitment drive, where the firm employed 11 new apprentices, consisting of nine bricklayers and two carpenters.
Taylor Wimpey won the JobCrowd ‘Top Company for Apprentices to Work For’ 2022/23.
Michelle Reid, apprenticeship manager at Taylor Wimpey, said: “We’re keen to explore any way we can support the improvement of facilities at Moreton Morrell, that will, longer term, benefit future construction learners on campus and benefit our business.
“We’re keen for our four trainee apprentices who are developing the tricks of the trade to maximise their learning potential, and the new facility should help them get the most out of their Taylor Wimpey apprenticeship as possible.
“We look forward to recruiting the next new apprentice cohort and training them at the Training Centre.”
John Billings, project manager in construction at WCG, added: “The work already being produced by the apprentices is excellent and is proving to be beneficial to all – which is all the more remarkable considering they are in the first year of their apprenticeship and some had no previous experience to call upon.
“There are some real standout achievements so far – with Harry Green representing WCG at a regional WorldSkills competition and Owen Shaw winning the junior Guild of Bricklayers event held at Rugby College and going on to compete in the national competition later this month.
“All of the apprentices are surpassing expectations and are producing work of an extremely high standard. We look forward to watching their journey in a thriving industry.”
To find out more about brickwork courses at WCG visit www.wcg.ac.uk/study