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Bristol Apprentice Gains Craft Accreditation

Back in September, Alex Shaw of Billington Structures, Barnsley became the first ever apprentice to be awarded the BCSA CRAFT Structural Steelwork Fabricator Welder Certificate. Now our first Yate factory apprentice has become the second.

Billington apprentice Richard Cleak has successfully completed his BCSA CRAFT Structural Steelwork Fabricator Welder Certificate at our factory in Yate, Bristol.

Richard started the course on 1st July 2014 as one of the very first trainees. As the name CRAFT (Competence Route of Attainment in a Fabrication Trade) suggests, these courses provide people that are either above apprenticeship age or struggle to meet the requirements and deadlines set by colleges. This training is tailored specific to our industry, with the opportunity to gain a qualification within their job role at a pace to suit them. Nick Collins, Billington Works Manager and BCSA Registered Validator, has worked alongside Richard offering him support and guidance throughout his training –

“In 2014 Darren Kemplay (HR Manager for Billington) approached myself with the concept of the CRAFT course being developed by the BCSA and asked if we had any candidates that would gain from this type of one-to-one training. Immediately we thought of Rich and set out about signing him up. The whole ethos of this type of training is that trainees prove to their validator that they can do the role and then back it up with the paperwork whereas colleges tend to do the reverse. Although it has taken Rich 18 months to complete this course he has become a more rounded fabricator for it with a greater appreciation for the company for helping him achieve this qualification.”

Bristol Apprentice Gains Craft Accreditation Billington Structures

From left to right: Simon Barnes (Production Director), Richard Cleak (Apprentice), Nick Collins (Works Manager & BCSA Validator)

We now have two more trainees signed up to the same course and have also taken on a young trainee Paint Shop Operative who will be trained in a new CRAFT course currently being developed by the BCSA, that we will pioneer for them at Yate.

Billington are very proud to be working alongside the BCSA to help train our industry’s future workforce. We would like to pass on our congratulations to Richard, and also to encourage others to follow in his well-deserved footsteps.