Andy Lea is living proof that Bodelwyddan-based Wynne Construction’s apprenticeship scheme works – and he was only too happy to sing its praises on national radio.
Project manager Andy appeared on Dot Davies’ BBC Radio Wales show as part of a feature on apprenticeships. Rewind 17 years back to 2005 and Andy explained how his affiliation with Wynne Construction began.
Talking about how he arrived at the company aged 16, he said: “It was back in school and a conversation with an old teacher of mine at Ysgol Bryn Elian in Old Colwyn. It worked out she had a family member who worked for the company I am with now, which obviously led to an interview, I was a successful candidate and I am still here now.
“I first started and had day release to the local college, as well as working onsite and gaining site experience alongside good mentors. I was also passed around to different joiners and gained vital experience, before venturing out on my own and doing jobs.”
Wynne Construction remains invested in apprenticeships, creating futures in the industry through their Futures Foundation, which provides career opportunities, education, skills and social value. Andy added: “We try to take on as many apprentices as we can. We have aims and targets to achieve to make sure we are getting apprentices onboard and promoting that there is work in construction.
“There is always a lot of interest coming through the colleges. I do feel that there are a lot of options for candidates these days, so I am not sure they realise what they can achieve when they start out. Wynne Construction themselves work closely with colleges and we offer work experience first prior to apprenticeships to give them that taste of construction. We work with our subcontractors as well to promote apprenticeships within the companies that work with us to enable candidates to come and gain experience first.
Andy originally joined Wynne Construction as an apprentice joiner, working his way up to become a site manager in 2016 and gaining an NVQ Level 6 in site management, before landing the role of project manager in the summer of 2021.
On what makes a successful apprentice, Andy added: “It’s about getting the best out of yourself and making it work for you. I’ve been with the company for 17 years and I’ve climbed the ladder, so there are pathways to create for yourself.”