Stepnell welcomes trio of trainees on Bluebell

Category: Frameworks

Our Bluebell ward project Walton Hospital in Chesterfield is proving to be the ideal training ground for young people starting their careers in the construction industry.

The project, for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is part of the Making Room for Dignity programme. Procured through the Procure Partnership Framework, once refurbished, the ward will provide 12 single ensuite inpatient rooms for older adults with mental healthcare needs. Each patient will have access to specialist older people clinicians focused in a safer ward environment to allow them to heal.

Currently, 18% of our workforce is made up of trainees and graduates out of 327 employees. Our target to recruit 10% of our workforce each year as new entrant trainees ensures we safeguard our future workforce needs, and that we have a pipeline of talent who are being trained at all levels and in all disciplines. We currently have 43 new emerging talent employees, including trainees, apprentices, graduates, year out students and T Level students, within the business.  

McKenzie Hague started his career at Stepnell in 2021 and is a level 2 ground worker apprentice on the Bluebell project. His pathway into construction was originally in joinery before retraining as a ground worker. He is currently combining his studies at Stephenson College with paid work, which includes a mentor on site. His longer term goal is to progress to train future trainee ground workers like himself.

Studying for a BSc in Construction Site Management at Sheffield Hallam University, new recruit Will Mart is a trainee site manager at Bluebell. He joined us in January 2024. His previous role included projects at East Midlands Designer Outlet, Old Rectory, Clifton and Glenair in Mansfield.

Based in our Nottingham office and travelling regularly to site, Ben Sandhu is studying for a BSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management at Nottingham Trent University. Ben previously studied sports science before deciding to change direction. His existing skills were easily transferable to make the successful move into construction.

Former Stepnell apprentice and project manager on the Bluebell project, Scott Fullaway, said: “Will, Ben and McKenzie have all settled into this project really well. I am impressed with their hard working ethos and commitment to do a good job. They are all showing real promise and the potential for a long and successful career with us.”

Training manager, Jayne Suthard, added: “Training and development is fundamental in ensuring we employ the right people with the right skills to do the right jobs. Secondary to this is continuous learning and development, which ensures we keep abreast of modern working practices and operational requirements. We embrace young talent like these three trainees and recognise nurturing competent, motivated and well-trained people like them is essential to our continued success.”

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