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Our work with Maydencroft

Maydencroft reaps the rewards of training investment 

Local land management company, Maydencroft, has rapidly expanded over the last few years and now employs over 40 people.  The business provides a wide range of services including consultancy, contracting, farming, estate restoration, ecology and tree surgery.

Managing Director, Tom Williams, is clear that investment in staff training is at the heart of his business growth plan and is one of the main reasons why his company is so successful at retaining staff.  Tom said: “We have a very strong team spirit and a very low turnover of staff, and I’m sure this has a lot to do with our investment in training.  We ensure our staff have the opportunity to request training on a formal basis at least once a year through their annual reviews and in fact that was also how we decided we needed to recruit our apprentices.”

Maydencroft

Nurturing growth

During Maydencroft’s annual review process, project leaders in the contracting division suggested that recruiting apprentices would not only help the business fulfil extra work they had taken on, but it would also enable existing staff to develop their expertise through mentoring and supervisory roles. In September 2012, the company contacted Shuttleworth College and worked with them to recruit two apprentices; one specialising in Conservation and Environment and another in Trees and Timber.  These apprentices proved so successful that in 2013 Tom took on two more.

Tom explained: “This Apprenticeship approach helped us develop the business in a number of ways.  Not only did we have more manpower, with two additional members of staff, but we were also able to create longer term careers for some of our staff who were ready to take the next step up, and move into supervising roles.

“The other benefit has been the fact that we can train apprentices up from scratch, so they understand the Maydencroft ethos from the very start and learn our particular way of doing things.”

Shuttleworth success

Shuttleworth College have played an important role in the development of the apprentices, supporting what they have learnt on the job with theory and best practice.  The Conservation and Environment course covers essentials such as plant nomenclature, terminology and identification, hedge laying and even rivers, coasts and waterways.  The Tree and Timber course covers safe chainsaw use, tree identification, pests and disease identification, and arboriculture operations from the ground.  On successful completion of the courses, both apprentices will gain Level 2 Diploma qualifications. 

Tom said:  “We like working with Shuttleworth College and they are experts in land-based training, which is a perfect fit for my business.  The assessors have been very good at providing three month reviews so we can keep on top of how the apprentices are performing against their learning objectives.  We also get on very well with the lecturers from the other short courses our staff regularly undertake.  I would definitely recommend Shuttleworth College to other companies in the land-based industries.”

In fact, Tom has been so impressed with the College’s approach to Apprenticeships that he is planning to take on his fifth apprentice in September this year, further expanding his rapidly growing business.

» Read about three Shuttleworth College apprentices who were employed by Maydencroft

To find out more about how Shuttleworth College can help your organisation face future challenges, please telephone: 01234 291747 or email: training@bedford.ac.uk