Stepnell builds partnership with college group for better futures

Category: People

A leading regional apprenticeship provider Warwickshire College Group is strengthening its relationship with a major construction contractor.

Stepnell has seen a third apprentice begin their training with college group WCG at Moreton Morrell College.

The construction business employs over 300 people and is committed to 10 percent of its overall workforce being apprentices or trainees.

WCG is the largest college provider of apprenticeship training in the region, with up to 2,000 apprentices trained every year and working with over 1,100 local, regional and national employers.

It delivers carpentry and joinery apprenticeships from Moreton Morrell College, which is one of six colleges in the group. WCG also delivers training in a wide range of construction disciplines from Rugby College and Evesham College.

Stepnell took on two apprentices in the first year of the working with WCG with focuses on site carpentry and joinery – the apprentices work day-to-day from Stepnell’s joinery workshop at its head office in Rugby.

Alex Burnett, 19 from Rugby, was one of the first two apprentices and has been studying his apprenticeship for more than a year. He had previously studied Level 1 and Level 2 carpentry at Rugby College. He said: “I found out about Stepnell through a family friend and I’ve had some brilliant opportunities since joining the company. The skills I developed in my Level 2 course have helped me to get started with my apprenticeship. I’ve been able to keep learning in college, but also learn from the very experienced people in the joinery shop.”

Harvey Heise, 17 from Leamington, is the latest Stepnell apprentice to study at WCG. He added: “I was always told by my grandad that apprenticeships were a good way to start a career and when I came across the opportunity at Stepnell I knew it was right for me. “We’re at college every Friday. I get a lot of independence there and space to learn my skills, which I can then go and use back at work. I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship so far and hopefully it will be a long-term career for me.”

Jayne Suthard, training manager, joined Stepnell in 2019 and has been supporting a recruitment drive across the business, with one aspect being engaging WCG on the training of carpentry and joinery apprentices.

“We’re proud to be working with WCG as one of our apprenticeship providers,” said Jayne. “Construction as an industry is dealing with an increasingly ageing workforce and that means its vital we start to train the next generation and attract new talent to the industry. “The apprentices have all settled in really well and they have grown to be valuable members of the team and we are already starting to see the benefits of the apprenticeship programme. We hope to be able to take on further apprentices through WCG in the coming years.”

John Colclough, Head of Business Development and Industrial Placements at WCG, added: “Our construction apprenticeship provision is of the highest standard and it is great to be able to help develop talent for a reputable business such as Stepnell. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Jayne and her team to help provide a pipeline of skilled individuals for the business.”

WCG offers a wide range of apprenticeships in a variety of industries. For more information visit