Apprenticeships helping skip and waste management company to grow
Bilingual apprenticeships are helping to give staff the skills and knowledge to support the growth of a North Wales independent skip, waste management and plant hire company.
Thomas Skip & Plant Hire Ltd in Caernarfon has grown its workforce from two to 10 employees in the past eight years and hopes to create more new posts before the end of 2020 to keep up with demand for its services.
The company provides skips and waste services across Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy as well plant hire, groundworks and clearances. Because the business is based in a predominantly Welsh speaking region, the company says its very important that staff learn through the medium of Welsh.
Seeking to employ a happy, trained, safe workforce with a good knowledge and understanding of the waste management industry, Thomas Skip & Plant Hire offers Apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3 in Sustainable Recycling Activities and Business Administration, which have improved skills and customer service. The company currently has three Apprentices.
Iestyn Thomas, who runs the business with his partner, Natasha Thomas, is working towards the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Sustainable Recycling Activities and plans to progress to a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4) to further enhance his knowledge and skills.
The Apprenticeships are delivered by work-based learning provider Cambrian Training, who presented Iestyn and Natasha with the award for Apprenticeship Engagement for Micro Employers at the company’s annual Apprenticeship, Employment and Skills Awards earlier this year.
It was Thomas Skip & Plant Hire’s first award since being formed in 2012 by Iestyn, who was previously a construction industry supervisor and Natasha, who was an estate agent for more than 20 years.
Natasha explains why the company introduced Apprenticeships two years ago: “By offering the Apprenticeships, it gives both the company peace of mind that staff have the skills and knowledge to do their jobs correctly. We think it’s important for staff to learn all aspects of the industry within their job responsibilities.
“The Apprenticeships have had a very positive impact on the business and it’s really important to us that Cambrian Training is able to deliver them bilingually, as most of our staff and customers use Welsh as their first language.
“Our staff have gained confidence in the workplace through the Apprenticeships and are keen to carry on learning. Our aim is to keep growing and employ more staff who will also be trained through Apprenticeships.
“I would 100 per cent recommend Apprenticeships to other companies because it’s beneficial that staff have the skills and knowledge to fulfil their daily duties.”
Natasha and Iestyn are so pleased with the training delivered by Cambrian Training staff – training officer Amy Edwards and Essential Skills tutor Tracey Dawson – that they have recommended the company to other North Wales businesses.
“Cambrian Training is great to work with and I can’t think of any better people to learn with than Amy and Tracey,” adds Natasha. “Amy has a good knowledge of the waste management industry and Tracey has helped us with Essential Skills, which has prompted us to go back into education.”
Thomas Skip & Plant Hire is looking to carry on growing as its excellent reputation spreads across North Wales. “We have never had to advertise our business; we have grown through repeat business and recommendations, as the industry is very buoyant,” explains Natasha.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.