From education to employment

Online Training Employer Academy Gives Students A Head Start

hard hat on floor

A wide range of Construction skills students at Derby College Group (@derbycollege) in Derby and Ilkeston have gained industry-accredited training to boost their chances of securing a job in the industry, thanks to a partnership initiative with Howarth Timber and Building Supplies.

The company, which has been established since 1840 and is the UK’s largest privately-owned timber company with 33 branches across the UK, joined forces with DCG last year to set up an online training Employer Academy.

This has enabled students across a broad range of disciplines from brickwork to joinery have access to Howarth Timber’s award-winning online training academy which covers the spectrum of the latest product and industry knowledge.

After sitting online tests, the students receive certificates which they can include in their CV portfolios.

Howarth Timber Commercial Director Paul Bullivant and Derby-based sales executive Adam Fox visited the College to meet some of the students and present prizes to three who were amongst those to complete the most online modules.

They were Plumbing student Moin Hussain (17), Joinery student Dan Brown (19) and Plasterer Innes MacFarlane (19).

Moin, a former pupil at Littleover Community School, said:

“I found the online training really interesting and very useful.  It particularly helped me to confirm my plans to progress onto an Electrical Installation course as that is the job that I want to do in the future.”

Moving forwards, students will continue to have access to the online resources and will also join a wide range of industry visits including to the company’s head office in Leeds, factory and adjoining port in Hull, local suppliers as well as attend expert demonstration days at the Derby branch in Old Nottingham Road which has spearheaded the Employer Academy.

Howarth Timber and Building Supplies Sales Executive and Key Account Manager Adam Fox explained:

“We have supplied materials to the college Construction Academy for sometime and were keen to develop the relationship further.

“The online resources are produced by manufacturers so incorporate all the latest legislation and product specifications and are the same as we use within the company.

“It is therefore a great opportunity for the students to gain industry-relevant training which will give them a head start when they are applying for jobs.”

Paul Bullivant added:

“Despite the pandemic, we are delighted with the number of students who have engaged with the online training academy and we look forward to developing this further with the new intake of students in September.

“Education and training are vital in the construction industry and this Employer Academy initiative with Derby College enables us to contribute to the wider skills agenda.

“As a long-established company, we plan to be around for many more years to come and we hope that these young people will be our customers in the future as they establish their own careers and even their own businesses moving forwards.”

DCG CEO Mandie Stravino concluded:

“Howarth Timber and Building Supplies are a perfect example of how employers work with us to co-design and co-deliver the curriculum to ensure that young people develop the skills, behaviours and attitudes that employers need.

“This continues to be an amazing opportunity for our students and the online training has been a welcome addition to the students’ virtual study programmes during these difficult times to further boost their chances of finding an apprenticeship or job when they leave College.”


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