Apprenticeships - The Benefits

As part of National Apprenticeship Week we are championing the case for hiring young trainees as we have throughout our history, and in today's blog we look at the benefits that hiring apprentices can have on all businesses - including our own.


The Future Skilled Workforce

Apprenticeship training has a significant impact on the workforce of tomorrow. Training within a company from the very start of a person's career means that not only are they likely to gain the necessary skillset to develop within their chosen industry, they are also likely to gain that companies ethos and working methods - making them valuable long term assets to their company. This offers a cost effective way for firms to train staff to be ideal candidates for future roles; which is neatly evidenced at Thorpes where we have former trainees in every single department within our business, from the spray shop to contract support, bench joinery to the commercial department - even our current Managing Director is a former Thorpes apprentice!

Apprenticeship length of service figures

Staff Retention

As a company we can fully attest to the long term benefits of apprentices. A quarter of our current workforce completed their training with us and have remained since, in fact, 25% of our apprentices have been with the company for over 15 years! Our staff retention rate is extremely high, with 2017 numbers sitting at over 97% and we firmly believe our trainees play a big role in this.

This is largely due to the nature of said training programmes. An apprenticeship tends to encourage those undertaking it to view their job as a long term career as it highlights a company's willingness to invest in their staff's future and thus shows how they are valued in their place of work. This has a knock on effect in increasing motivation and commitment to a business and their objectives, further improving the likelihood that the trainee remains within an organisation long term.

Youthful Exuberance

Apprentices can have an impact on all levels of the company regardless of the role they are training in. By committing to a training scheme they are showing a willingness to learn their trade, develop themselves professionally and progress in their career and this enthusiasm can often provide a revitalising attitude within their workplace which can be translated onto existing staff.

We have employed apprentices across multiple departments and have found that not only have they added a fresh and positive attitude, in undertaking certain tasks they free up more senior members of staff which has a further bonus on their productivity. 

Thorpes Joinery Apprentice 1

So, Why Is This Important?

The need for apprenticeships has never been more apparent within the construction industry as industry experts have identified an ever growing skills gap, one that is likely to be exacerbated by both Brexit and an ageing workforce. According to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) one in eight construction workers are from overseas and a quarter of this number are unsure if they will remain within the country in a years time. The lack of focus in the last few years on apprenticeships means that more than 30% of British-born construction workers are over 50, meaning unless action is taken there is likely to be a massive skills shortage in the future.

However, the Government's Apprenticeship Levy is their key policy driver as they aim to hit three million new apprenticeships by 2020 and Lloyd's have reported that half of construction companies are setting up apprenticeship schemes, the effects of which should become apparent by 2019.

To read more about Thorpes Joinery's apprentices visit our dedicated page here.

National Apprenticeship Week

As this year’s National Apprenticeship Week gets underway, we look at the success Thorpes has enjoyed as a result of our proactive apprenticeship policy.

Whether it’s in the factory or in the office, we believe in internal development for our staff and seek to help those looking to gain qualifications by providing as much on the job experience as possible. Our history of hiring apprentices stretches back to our very first year of business back in 1947, and we are proud that many employees continue their career with us after completing their courses.

We are delighted to have a great number of apprentices both current and qualified in various positions throughout our company, with several moving from their original roles in the factory to take up positions in our office divisions; such as estimating or contracts. 


Our policy of hiring apprentices has long been a mainstay of our company ethos, and we are delighted that two new office apprentices have started very recently as the latest addition to our ever growing staff.

As #NAW2018 is following the “celebration of apprentice success” we gathered many of those who completed (or are still undertaking) apprenticeships at the company to reflect their achievement’s and success over the years. The day showcased how our apprentices work in their various departments, which was a great opportunity to catch up with one ex-apprentice who is sadly retiring this month after a terrific service to the company spanning several years.

To learn more about our apprenticeships visit our dedicated page here.

Official Factory Opening Event

On Thursday 1st February, we officially celebrated the move to our custom-built manufacture facility by opening up our new home to a number of local stakeholders and London clients, with guests being given guided tours of our site throughout a Thorpes working day.

Our intention was to not only showcases both our new and existing capabilities, but to also provide an excellent networking opportunity for all involved with many long term supporters of our business reconnecting with connections old and new.

We were delighted that many guests have sent us well wishes for our future following the event:

I’m pleased we’ve been able to help Thorpes to move into a brand new headquarters. We’re committed to supporting the local economy and I wish Thorpes every success as they continue to grow.
— Deputy Council Leader, Byron Rhodes
It was a pleasure to meet your team and tour your factory, which is a real credit to you!
It was a real pleasure and honour to see what you have achieved, you should be proud. Your hospitality it was fantastic now time to relax and enjoy your success!


During the tour our guests followed certain members of our staff around the site, both throughout the factory  and  office departments. Seeing production in action gave our guests a unique insight into our working practices, varied skillset and the wide reaching benefits our new site will bring. 

Watch the behind the scenes video below that we featured live on our Instagram story throughout the day.