Scaffolding contractor reveals plan to build state-of-the-art training academy in Derbyshire

Fast-growing national scaffolding, brickwork, and drywall business, Phoenix Brickwork, has announced its intention to create a state-of-the-art training academy for apprentices in Derbyshire.

Chairman of Phoenix Brickwork, Christian Watson, said the Phoenix Brickwork Training Academy, which is in the early stages of planning and development, will invest in young people who have a passion to work in scaffolding, drylining and bricklaying.

Christian Watson Phoenix Chairman

He believes the new facility will boost the number of Derbyshire-based teenagers taking up apprenticeships and wanting to launch their careers in the industry.

Christian said: “It is my ambition to see more youngsters learn real, practical skills in scaffolding, drylining and bricklaying. Some people find academic study a struggle, but they often thrive when they learn on the job.

“Establishing a Phoenix Brickwork Training Academy means we can invest in our industry and provide young people with genuine trade skills, and not just a certificate.”

Apprenticeships are now a popular career option for young people and for Dylan Tewson, Oliver Thomas and Jordan Crofts, starting at Phoenix Brickwork has changed their lives – and their outlook on employment – for the better.

The trio make up a cohort of 20 apprentices at Pinxton-based Phoenix Brickwork.

Dylan Tewson, 21, is a trainee Quantity Surveyor at Phoenix and loves learning on the job. He says he is most excited about getting a degree and becoming a fully qualified Quantity Surveyor with ambitions to advance into a commercial manager role.

Apprentice Dylan Tewson
Apprentice Dylan Tewson

“Working for Phoenix has been good for me,” said Dylan. “I joined Phoenix to gain more knowledge and practical experience in the job, and I fitted in straight away. I really enjoy being an apprentice. This opportunity provides me with hands-on experience and I’m earning money.”

A positive attitude and a genuine desire to work is why Oliver Thomas, 21, is another success story at Phoenix. He says he is excited about gaining recognised practical qualifications, furthering his knowledge, and starting his career.

“What I love most about Phoenix is learning a variety of different skills and working alongside experienced tradesmen who are willing to pass on their knowledge to me.”

Jordan Crofts, 22, joined the team of apprentices in November 2021, and is determined to progress at Phoenix Brickwork.

Apprentice Jordan Crofts

He said: “I really love working on site and getting involved in different tasks. Having support from the team and gaining knowledge from Site Managers and Bricklayers is so beneficial.”

Christian Watson said: “It is so encouraging to read what our current apprentices have to say – after all, with the disturbing decline in experienced tradespeople in our industry, mainly due to retirement, they are our future, and my mission is to ensure the trade has a strong pool of tried-and-tested talent.”

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