To coincide with National Apprenticeship Week 2019, leading property services specialist Ian Williams held its third Qualification Celebration Lunch at Bristol’s Ashton Gate Stadium. The event which was the largest yet and attended by 43 people, celebrated the company’s apprentice, trainee and staff achievers and recognised the vital contribution they make to the business. Ian Williams is committed to direct delivery of its services and has pledged that 10% of its total workforce is made up of apprentices. This programme is managed by the Ian Williams Academy which delivered over 4,000 days of training and personal development in 2018.
Ian Williams’ Training & Development Manager, Sian Pearce, welcomed delegates with warm congratulations: “Now in its third year, the Qualification Celebration Lunch has truly become a high point in the Ian Williams calendar and we look forward to gathering everyone that has gained a qualification through the Ian Williams Academy together, along with their peers, to celebrate their achievements.
“By completing one of our Academy programmes, not only has everyone obtained a formal qualification which will stay with them throughout their career, they have also developed a deep understanding of our business and our culture which means, from day one of their formal employment, they are making a massive contribution to our business and we would not be able to do our work without them.
“Over the years I have become the biggest advocate for apprenticeships, but the amount of hard work and dedication required to complete a work-based qualification should not be underestimated. As well as the newly qualified trade operatives, staff and surveyors, we were also delighted to welcome three employees that have gained a formal qualification relevant to their current roles and have all undertaken this training outside of their normal roles. It is great to be able to expand our training opportunities to all our staff.
“The formal structure of apprenticeships may be under review but for Ian Williams it still remains very much at our core as we launch our 31 vacancies for the 2019 apprenticeship intake. None of this would be possible without the support of our Academy Officers – Jo Down and Katherine Brenner – and the Mentors, especially Andy Doyle who received the ‘Best Apprentice Mentor’ award in recognition of his dedication to enabling all his apprentices to be successful, so a special thanks to them too.”
Also in attendance at the lunch was Florence Hale, Apprenticeship Officer from the CITB who says: “I was delighted to attend Ian Williams’ third Qualification Celebration Lunch as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019. This is how the company celebrates the hard work and commitment of apprentices, trainee surveyors and staff who have completed qualifications programmes and I applaud companies that recognise their staff in this way.
“The CITB look forward to working closely with Ian Williams to fill this year’s apprenticeship vacancies”
Here’s what a few of the team have to say:
Hannah Patrick has completed her AAT Level 3 Apprenticeship and works in our Finance department: “My finance apprenticeship has been really involved, with all aspects of accounting being covered in the college course I attend once a week combined with the hands-on experience I’ve been allowed to gain at Ian Williams. It’s an encouraging work environment, with friendly staff who are happy to support you at each. I attend a team meeting every week, so we know what’s going on across the business and what our responsibilities are for the week ahead, on a day to day basis, I’m involved in processing invoices, paying suppliers and preparing statements. There’s a great teamworking ethos at Ian Williams, and the Academy team have been very supportive with any problems that have come up. Collectively, they also ensure that what I’m doing in the office is helping me to gain a working understanding of the things I’m learning at college, by allowing me to work across different teams in the business. It’s not just a qualification you walk away with, it’s relevant on-the-job experience as well.”
Lucas Davies-Perrin (Level 3 Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Decorative Finishing) now qualified Painter and Decorator: “I’ve been working as an apprentice painter and decorator with Ian Williams since September 2015. I attended college at Cardiff & Vale College one day a week and spent the rest of my time on site getting involved with all aspects of painting and decorating – from preparing the site, by rubbing down and filling walls to prep them before painting, and completing any finishing touches.
“Being an apprentice at Ian Williams has been a great experience because of the friendly environment, the willingness of the team to share their knowledge (and there’s not much they don’t know with all their years of experience!) and perhaps the biggest thing for me, the job security at the end of it.”
Sam Ward (Level 3 Apprenticeship in Wood Occupations): “I joined the Ian Williams Apprenticeship programme three years ago because I wanted to learn a trade and carpentry was what I found most interesting. A friend recommended Ian Williams, so I applied and following an interview, I got the position. During the apprenticeship, I spent one day a week at Plymouth College and the remaining four days a week on site. It’s great being an apprentice for a large organisation because you get to work with different people in different places all the time.
“My day always starts by signing in and getting my boots on and then the foreman talks us through the plan for the day. Every day is different, with a wide variety of work to get our teeth into. The programme offers a great opportunity to develop skills and make friends along the way. And at the end of it, you have the job security of becoming an operative within Ian Williams.”
Dan Richards, Level 3 Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Decorative Finishing and now a fully-fledged Painter & Decorator: “I spent 2 days a week at college learning about painting and decorating and then, for the remainder of the week, I was working on site, learning how to apply what I’d learnt at an efficient speed! Having the mixture of both college learning and on-site experience is great, because there is always more to learn in the field from people who do the job every day. And the team at Ian Williams are always encouraging you to grow and develop further – that’s why, as well as my Level 3 Apprenticeship, I’m also going for a Level 4 Management qualification. I have the confidence to push myself further within the company because I know the support is in place for me to do so.
“The best thing about working on an apprenticeship with Ian Williams, is feeling that you belong to something. That, along with job security, makes you want to work hard. And the sense of achievement you feel when you’ve finished a job it and the customer is happy makes you look forward to the next project. I enjoy going to work in the morning!”
Our other achievers: