A GROUP of new apprentice recruits were given a taste of life in construction with a visit to a site with the Mayor of Salford.

Seddon, whose headquarters are in Plodder Lane, Bolton, has seen a growth in demand for entry-level routes into the industry, recently taking on 17 new apprentices after receiving more than 350 applications.

Following two open days, Seddon has fulfilled a range of trainee roles across its north west and midlands teams, including trade apprenticeships and higher degree schemes.

Last week, a group of these new Seddon apprentices met Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, at a development of 51 new homes for Salford Council on Clifton Green.

The young people were joined by representatives from Seddon to celebrate the company’s commitment to providing apprenticeships and their impact on the wider Greater Manchester region.

The Bolton News: Seddon apprentices at a development of 51 new homes for Salford Council on Clifton GreenSeddon apprentices at a development of 51 new homes for Salford Council on Clifton Green

Since 2019, 27 apprentices have qualified with the business.

Nicola Hodkinson, director of business services at Seddon, said: “We’re extremely impressed with the sheer volume of talented applicants this year, and the demand for our roles. Apprenticeship schemes will always play a vital role at Seddon, and we remain committed to investing in new talent all year round.

“We have maintained this commitment to our apprentices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting current trainees and continuing to work with our supply chain and education partners to provide new training opportunities.

“It was also great to see a noticeable increase in women attending our open day and securing jobs with us – this is very much in line with our commitment to encouraging greater diversity across the industry.”

The Bolton News: Seddon apprentices with the mayor of Salford, Paul DennettSeddon apprentices with the mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) says only 50 per cent of construction students remain in the industry after they finish college. Seddon strongly advocates for more contractors to partner with local colleges to support students with work placements and the opportunity to gain “real-life” construction experience.

Nicola continues: “What sets us apart is that, by offering the opportunity to train and specialise in a specific area of construction, our apprenticeships are seen as a learning investment."

Seddon is set to launch a School Partnership Programme in the 2021-22 academic year, alongside local schools that offer GCSE Construction. The company is also in talks with its local college to support full-time students with work sponsorships, with more details to be announced soon.