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Derby-based construction company offers employment opportunities to local students

Derby-based contractor, G F Tomlinson, has highlighted the success of its annual apprenticeship programme and role as a Cornerstone Employer as it supported 25 apprentices last year alone.

The contractor, which has headquarters in Little Eaton, Derby, operates across the East and West Midlands delivering high-value construction projects in various sectors including healthcare, education, commercial, industrial, restoration, leisure and residential.

Its annual apprenticeship programme enables G F Tomlinson to employ young people and mentor them through hands-on work in the business whilst also supporting them to achieve their professional qualifications.

One of those young persons is Ed Smith, who was employed by G F Tomlinson aged 16 whilst undertaking a level 3 course. Now aged 22 Ed has completed his HNC course (Higher National Certificate) and his HND (Higher National Diploma) in Construction in the Built Environment at Derby College, whilst working on site four days a week.

Following the completion of his studies with the college, Ed has become the first Derby College apprentice to achieve the new level 4 construction site supervisor higher apprenticeship standard.

During his time with G F Tomlinson to date, Ed has progressed to the role of assistant site manager, helping to successfully deliver high-profile schemes, including the Advanced Manufacturing Building and Biodiscovery Institute for the University of Nottingham and most recently the major extension to Barr’s Hill School in Coventry.

On his role and experience, Ed says: “I spent time getting to know all the departments, including design, estimating and quantity surveying and have since decided to progress my career within a site management role.

“One of the best things about working as an assistant site manager at G F Tomlinson is the chance to work in lots of different places, meet many different people and work on some very interesting projects.” 

“I’ll be studying for my degree for the next three years at Nottingham Trent University, and once I’ve got my degree I’d like to work as a project manager, eventually managing £20million plus projects.”

Another apprentice, employed by G F Tomlinson in 2019 is Tiarna Powell, who completed her HNC course at the Roundhouse with a distinction, and is now studying for her HND with the Derby College Group.

Tiarna is working four days a week, gaining hands-on experience within the quantity surveying team having worked on projects including the Blythe Valley M2 residential mixed-use scheme in Solihull and a large industrial scheme on the new Wakefield Hub for developers HBD and Yorkcourt.

She will also be starting her degree in quantity surveying at Nottingham Trent University this year.

Tiarna says: “Through my work at G F Tomlinson I have been able to start my career in quantity surveying and study at the same time to gain my professional qualifications.

“I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to meet and work with so many different people at G F Tomlinson, and have the chance to work on a range of projects including Derbyshire Care Homes and Tunstall Town Hall – both exciting restoration projects which are bringing the buildings back to their former glory, whilst providing a modern upgrade to the interiors.

“I’m looking forward to starting my degree at Nottingham Trent University this year and continuing to progress in my career at G F Tomlinson.”

Working with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership as well as local businesses and education providers, G F Tomlinson’s status as a founding member of the Cornerstone Employers group sees the contractor provide opportunities for younger people to gain knowledge and experience that can help them on their path towards a career in the construction industry.

Recently, G F Tomlinson’s construction director Kevin Dodds spoke at the launch event of the Derbyshire South Career Hub – a new scheme that aims to facilitate opportunities for young students to interact with local universities and other training, education and professional organisations – as well as strengthen links between education providers and local businesses to ensure students are prepared for their step into professional careers.

Kevin Dodds says: “It is wonderful to see apprentices such as Ed and Tiarna accomplish such a strong start to their careers in the industry, and we’re proud to be able to provide that opportunity for them.

“At G F Tomlinson, we are committed to delivering social value in the areas and communities in which we work, having supported 25 apprentices in the past year – providing investment and involvement into education is a huge part of that to inspire and support the next generation.

“Through our work we are able to engage with hundreds of school pupils, college and university students via a number of means including offering construction site tours of our projects, attending careers events and welcoming apprentices and work experience placements to join our team.

“Congratulations to Ed and Tiarna for all their hard work and achieving great results in their courses so far, and we wish them the best of luck towards their successful careers in the construction industry with G F Tomlinson.”