Woodford Heating & Energy Ltd
“Apprentices are the future of our company”
Operations Director at Woodford Heating & Energy Ltd, Steve Abbott BSc (Hons) ICIOB ACIBSE, is very clear about the value of apprenticeships to their business, adding
“on 1 August 2016 we recruited 12 apprentice plumbers and pipefitters, bringing our total currently in training to 27.”
Essex firm, Woodford Heating & Energy Ltd, specialise in heating, energy and plumbing systems for the London residential housing market, working with high profile clients such as Barratt Homes. Their multi-million pound project portfolio stretches across London, from Ealing and Chiswick in the west, to Brixton and Catford in South, and Bethnal Green and Barking in the east.
“Barking & Dagenham College has trained our apprentices for some years now, and because our business is pan-London,” explains Steve,“we find it convenient to retain the services of a couple of colleges to train our team.
“The client service we have had from Barking & Dagenham College is very good,” he adds “and the feedback from our apprentices about their training experience is always positive.”
The majority of Woodford’s newest recruits have already completed their City & Guilds at Level 1 but some are completely new to the sector.
“We look for candidates who enjoy taking things apart and seeing how they work, as well as having a strong work-ethic and a get-up-and-go attitude,” explains Steve. “If candidates can demonstrate their potential, then we’re happy to invest in their training.”
“We believe that it’s important to put time and effort into inducting and supporting our apprentices because we want them with us for the long-term. A formal Apprenticeship Induction Day works well for us, and we invite our training partners to join us.
"We bring all our new apprentices together, we explain exactly what’s expected of them and how we work here at Woodford. It gives the team at Barking & Dagenham College the opportunity to explain the structure and key milestones of the academic aspect of the apprenticeship. The apprentices get their workwear, their tools and they are out on-site the very next day.”
Woodford offers a clear progression route for apprentices who aspire to management careers. This year, four former Apprentice plumbers (City & Guilds Level 3 qualified) have been promoted into Projects Engineer (Junior Contracts Manager) roles and are continuing their apprenticeships at Level 4. The new Managers will complete their HNC in Construction & the Built Environment as part of their Higher Apprenticeship, studying part-time at Barking & Dagenham College.
“The Apprentice Scheme gives us a great kick-start to a career in the industry and offers really important hands on experience in the practical side of the job.”
Apprentice at Woodford Heating & Energy Ltd and training at Barking & Dagenham College.