Screwfix is driving forward with its apprenticeship agenda as the UK celebrates National Apprenticeship Week.
Whether it’s customers or colleagues, Screwfix says that people are at the heart of its culture, and that it champions the progression of its colleagues through its Trade Up programmes.
The Trade Up programmes are retail apprenticeship programmes, aimed at developing and progressing talent to meet business growth. As an employer provider, Screwfix has utilised its retail and learning expertise to deliver a programme covering all aspects of retail that is fully supported by expert internal learning coaches. The programme develops a robust pipeline of managers that can truly make a difference to colleagues and customers.
Screwfix currently has more than 700 colleagues on apprenticeship programmes across areas such as retail management, customer service and HR management – 81% of apprentices who complete programmes are promoted into a role.
In 2022, the business teamed up with TrAC, the Flexi-job apprenticeship agency, to launch a new scheme which funds the training of construction trade apprentices, in a bid to help tackle the skills shortage and encourage more people into the trade.
Screwfix undertook extensive research among both apprentices and tradespeople, which revealed the costs associated with an apprenticeship are a significant barrier to preventing many from becoming an apprentice or hiring one. TrAC match individuals with an employer, from plumbing and electrical apprentices, through to landscaping, painting and decorating, and other skilled trade professions. Throughout the apprenticeship, both the apprentice and employer will receive ongoing support and guidance, alongside receiving financial support from Screwfix.
Screwfix also launched its 9th trade apprentice competition in the UK and Republic of Ireland this week. The annual competition offers a worthy winner the opportunity to earn a £10k trade bundle including tools, tech and training. Previous winners have used the competition as a springboard to launch their own careers as self-employed tradespeople.
Max Britten, Managing Director of Screwfix UK and Republic of Ireland, says, “People are at the heart of what we do, and we’ve made great strides in recent years with our internal apprenticeship programmes giving our colleagues opportunities to progress and gain qualifications. Since we launched our Trade Up programme, more than 560 people have gained qualifications to enhance their careers.
“The skills shortage in construction is well documented, and as a national trade retailer, we want to champion careers in the trade as we proudly showcase our nation’s skilled trade professionals and the benefits of a career in the construction industry.
“Through our trade apprentice campaign, and our new initiative with TrAC to help solve the specific challenges facing apprentices and tradespeople seeking to hire, we’re championing careers in the trade and driving forward apprenticeships across the business.”