Anna Williamson reports from a recent open day hosted by Carillion, where apprentices were able to get some valuable hands-on experience with Thin-Joint construction.
Recently, we were given the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of the Thin-Joint system to some apprentices before giving them a chance to try the system for themselves. For H+H it is so important that we give young apprentices and young people the skills that they need to thrive in a workplace that is evolving and will face many challenges in the future.
Twelve apprentices took part in the demonstration on the day. I think it was a great chance for them to get real hands-on time using aircrete and the Thin-Joint System. They are all doing level 1 or 2 NVQ bricklaying apprenticeship courses, and to get this qualification actually involves learning how to use aircrete. This is normally taught theoretically, so giving the apprentices the chance to put the theory in practice was invaluable to them.
The open day began with talks from Barbara Entwistle, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, and Mike Leonard of the Build Alliance, who both spoke about the importance of skill retention for the building industry. The average UK bricklayer is over 50 now, so it is important that we give as many apprentices as possible the skills they need to build the next generation of buildings for Britain.
After this Graham Keenor, Development Manager at H+H told the apprentices about the benefits that the Thin-Joint System has compared to traditional methods. The cost savings from the reduction in building materials and time efficiency created by the Thin-Joint System are not trivial benefits; in time the apprentices could be using these savings to help run their own businesses.
After a lunchtime barbeque, the apprentices were given a masterclass on the Thin-Joint System, and then were able to try it for themselves under guidance. Many would express their surprise at the ease of use and speed of the system.
An invaluable day of practical learning in a light-hearted environment, the Thin-Joint demonstration may be the beginning of a lifetime of aircrete use for the Carillion apprentices.