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Crown sees value in apprenticeships

Construction and landscaping specialist Crown Group has announced plans to increase its investment in apprenticeships as part of its strategic expansion of the business. 

The Shropshire based company says the investment will see it add up to a dozen apprentices to its workforce over the next three years in its long-term blueprint for future proofing the organisation. 

Crown Group is experiencing significant growth in its facilities management and environmental management divisions as well as its core business of delivering integrated design, building and maintenance services for construction and landscaping projects. 

It counts construction leaders such as Bowmer & Kirkland and Galliford Try and local authorities among its regular clients. It is currently working on a high profile landscaping project at the Warner Bros 150-acre Hertfordshire studios as part of its multi-million pound expansion. 

The firm has doubled in size in the last year and now employs more than 60 people across the country.

Managing director Gareth Emberton said he intended to introduce apprentice roles across different sectors of the business. 

“We know the success of our business is down to our people and, given the growth we are enjoying, we need to future proof the business and create a workforce that is ready to meet the demands of a growing organisation. 

“There is a skills gap within certain sectors such as construction and horticultural services, and with an ageing population, we are looking to offer a career path for younger people within an ambitious business that is willing to nurture and support them as they climb the career ladder. 

“This is not about securing cheap labour. As a company of integrity we pride ourselves on paying over the minimum wage and investing in people who want to learn and grow with our business. Creating a strong and dynamic workforce will support us to deliver the high quality service we have built our reputation on.” 

Richard Moss is now working as one of the group’s estimating assistants following an 18-month business administration apprenticeship. 

He said the opportunity to learn while he worked had been the right approach for him. 

“I was 23 when I started my apprenticeship which is a little older than usual but I was attracted by the chance to learn on the job in a supportive organisation. For me, that has been a better option and I feel confident that I will be able to work my way up.” 

Current apprentice 18-year-old Dominik Colbron was studying for A-Levels and had a part-time job in retail before joining the group’s accounting team. 

He said: “It’s an interesting sector to work in and I have found it easier to learn new skills while I work.” 

Gareth added: “We would love to hear from anyone who is genuinely committed to making a career with us and wants to join a forward thinking and dynamic business.” 

Picture: Crown Group's Gareth Emberton (centre) with apprentice Dominik Colbron (left) and former apprentice Richard Moss (right)

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