Moray housing developer smashes through training target

Innes Smith

MORAY PROPERTY DEVELOPER Springfield Properties has smashed through their training ambitions targets with almost a quarter of staff now engaged in training or education.

Less than three years ago the award-winning housebuilder pledged to have 10% of its workforce in training.

Now with 477 employees, the company is continuing to achieve this as the business has grown by encouraging staff to undertake further development and by recruiting apprentices through its Springboard programme.

The firm is supporting 110 employees in further education, training and apprenticeships while 18 are undertaking higher education through training centres working with Skills Development Scotland.

A promising ‘Springfield Star’ is Ryan Prosser, who joined the company as an apprentice bricklayer at their Knockomie Braes site in Forres in January 2014. Now Ryan will be sitting his final skills test before the end of the year.

Now in his third year, Ryan has learned his trade at Moray College’s state-of-the-art technology centre. Ryan won the Practical Bricklayer of the Year award two years’ running, in his first and second years at college.

He said: “My dad works for Springfield and he told me that the apprenticeship was available and I wanted to learn a trade, so I applied for it. When I first started, it took a while to get used to working outside on a busy site. It was winter and very cold, but after a couple of months it was fine.

“One of the main things I’ve learned has been how to use the tools properly. The trickiest one was the drill, but with the help of my supervisors, I’ve now mastered it. My supervisors have all been brilliant, answering any questions I had when I’ve been unsure how to do something and helping make sure that I’m learning new things all the time.

“I really enjoy spending my time building. The days go past very quickly and it’s an amazing feeling seeing something you’ve built finished.

“My plan is to stay on at Springfield as it’s a great company to work for. My job could now take me to sites all over Scotland.”

Springfield Properties managing director Innes Smith said: “We’re committed to supporting our apprentices, helping hard working young people learn the skills they need for a successful career in housebuilding.

“Like any industry, you need a regular flow of workers to step up as others retire. By hiring apprentices, we are helping them develop skills, offering them a career, while ensuring skilled tradesmen for the future of house building – it just makes sense.

“Our apprentices all actively contribute and have a positive impact on the organisation. Ryan has really impressed us with their work ethic and enthusiasm for learning.”