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Stoke-based Brenden Fern Ltd have had a long-term business focus on recruiting apprentices and future proofing their employees through training and development. Here we talk to Director, Alec Fern, and apprentices about learning new skills.

What do you look for in apprentice recruitment?

We look for many skills in our apprentices but the main ones are enthusiasm, timekeeping and an interest in the trade. Usually, we can tell within the first six weeks if someone is right for the role so first impressions and a positive attitude really do make a difference.

What do apprentices bring to your business?

We currently have three apprentices in the firm, Connor, Adam and Jake. Connor and Adam are in plumbing whilst Jake is in joinery. We find apprentices bring new ideas and a great work ethic and willingness to learn. Every apprentice we've had has finished their apprenticeship and gained full-time work with us. We value the investment in our staff so much that one of our managers even started here as an apprentice and has now been with us for 16 years.

What is the value in staff investment for your business?

Not only do we believe that it's invaluable taking on apprentices for the business, but we believe upskilling our staff is also just as important. We currently have three staff members being upskilled in managerial qualifications, two doing business administration and three, including myself, doing site supervisor qualifications.

Meet the apprentices













Connor Walmsley (left) 18, started PM Training at 16, two weeks after leaving school.

Connor said: "I've been with Brenden Fern for two years now doing a plumbing and gas apprenticeship. My day-to-day role includes boiler and radiator installations, breakdowns, pipework, servicing and more. I really enjoy working here, it's given me fantastic opportunities!"

Jake Seaton (middle) 18, went to college before joining PM Training.

Jake said: "I have been with Brenden Fern for about five months now - my job role specialises in joinery. My day-to-day role includes roofing, kitchen installations, tending to skirting boards and PVC windows. The job is really varied and every day is different!" 

Adam Beech (right) 18, started with PM at the age of 16 and is progressing well with his apprenticeship.

Adam Said: "I have also been with Brenden Fern since I was 16 and I have a very similar role to Connor, doing a gas and plumbing apprenticeship. My day-to-day role focuses on a lot of installations with radiators and pipework but I do quite a lot of bathroom suites too." 

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If you would like more information about how apprenticeships and upskilling staff can make a difference to your organisation, get in contact with a member of our Partnerships team today. 

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