Constructing a Pathway to Prosperity: Scheme Levels the Playing Field for Aspiring Builders

(l-r) Harry Merrick and Josh Brown (both Inco Contracts)

The continued success of an Early Years’ Talent Scheme is helping a rapidly growing principal contractor bridge a skills gap accelerated by the impact of Brexit.

Inco Contracts, which delivers hundreds of industrial and commercial refurbishment schemes across the UK every year, has invested more than £100,000 into a programme that attracts, recruits, and fast-tracks enthusiastic and high-performing individuals in the construction industry.

Launched in 2020, the initiative has so far recruited four people at the firm’s three offices in Stafford, Stevenage and Warrington, with every person progressing quickly into important roles in its contracts teams.

They are all appointed with a mentor to oversee their development, 3-monthly training reviews to identify strengths and weaknesses, enhanced responsibility to lead and company-funded education at college or university.

“The nature of the industry we work in has presented itself with more challenges than ever before, with Brexit having a huge impact on skilled workers across the UK, in particular blue-collar staff,” explained Sam Norton, Operations Director at Inco Contracts.

“Our Early Years’ Talent Scheme has given us an opportunity to bridge the skills gap, but also develop individuals with the unique skills sets needed to fulfil the contracts managers role in our business.”

He continued: “This is made easier by having the opportunity to train and develop staff at an early stage of their career, so by the time they have completed the programme and training, they have the skills, mentorship, and confidence to undertake their roles. Importantly, they also live and breathe our culture.”

Harry Merrick has made the most of Inco Contracts’ Early Years Talent Scheme, joining as Trainee Contracts Manager in 2020 and progressing to Assistant Contracts Manager in just twelve months.

He quickly secured his Level 3 BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment, a host of sector-related qualifications and is currently studying at Birmingham City University for his HNC in Construction Management.

“The scheme has given me a clear pathway for progression and over the last four years I’ve been continually improving due to the experience and knowledge sharing of my colleagues and the educational opportunities I’ve been given at college and now University – all funded by the company,” added Harry.

“I had a target to work towards from the very start, which is a huge motivating factor that has ultimately enabled me to gain promotion quickly. The support I received internally has ensured I have the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to progress even further.”

He continued: “The plan for my future is to qualify from university with my degree in construction management, become a member of the Chartered Institute of Building and finally gain promotion as an independent Contracts Manager with Inco.

“My progression in such a short amount of time has been incredible and I recommend anyone thinking about a career in construction to take a look at this initiative.”

Inco Contracts has built a strong reputation for delivering more than 2100 industrial and commercial refurbishment schemes across the UK.

These often tend to be turnkey in nature and involve the company working alongside architects, designers, and landlords to bring warehouse and commercial office space back to life or to the required modern-day standards.

Sam concluded: “Josh Brown is our latest recruit to the Early Year’s Talent Scheme and is already impressing the team. As a business, this programme has given us so much and is now a cornerstone of our recruitment policy going forward.”

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