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The employer journey: Building on sound foundations

All Swatpro, training providers pride themselves on the “journey” they offer clients – carefully moulding services to fittheir needs and leaving them with well-trained staff.

Our partners take the red tape headaches away from employers, so they can concentrate on running their businesses and achieving their goals.

But don’t take our word for it: listen to our clients. In the first of a continuing series, we profile a thriving Somerset business that has made the tailored training approach offered by Swatpro partners really work for them.

Harvey Layzell is Managing Director of J Layzell and Sons, a building firm based in the south Somerset town of Ilminster.

It is a family-run business founded in 1895 and Harvey is the 4th generation Layzell to work in it.

The company undertakes a variety of construction projects, but specialise in the repair and restoration of historic properties. They are rightly proud of the many craftsmen they employ.

Typically, the firm takes on one or two apprentices each year, training them in-house to be carpenters, joiners, bricklayers and masons.

The company’s on-site training was originally augmented by sending the apprentices off on courses at a local technical further education college, but they were not entirely happy with the results.

Harvey remembers: “We found that the structure of the training wasn’t quite right for us. The courses were inflexible, and our apprentices were being taught skills we didn’t need whilst things we did need them to learn were not on the curriculum.

“For example, we had lads being trained to work on flat roofs. Well there aren’t many of them on the historic buildings we restore!”

For Harvey, the solution was to contact Swatpro partner Train4All, an experienced specialist in construction industry training.

“I met Jon Allen from Train4All, liked him and liked his approach. We discussed exactly what we needed, what sort of training couldn’t be handled on site.

“The key was flexibility. It wasn’t a one-size-fits-all approach – and to be honest, that was a breath of fresh air!” he stresses.

“It meant I had a readily available contact to get in touch with for training – someone who I just needed to get in touch with and who could sort out any problems.Train4All help us find the right apprentices and design the course of training they undertake.

“We’ve been with them for 8 years and are very happy with the arrangement. We are training craftsmen, not just tradesman. There is a difference.”

Swatpro partner Train4All understand this difference and this is why businesses choose to work with us.