Building company marks a milestone

A Shrewsbury-based construction company and local apprenticeship provider celebrated 21 years of business in November.

J R Slee Building & Joinery Contractors have sent a brickwork or carpentry employee to Shrewsbury College to study as an apprenticeship during each year that they have been trading and now boast a workforce of over 15 people.

Managing Director and former Shrewsbury College apprentice, Rodney Slee, said: “The company believes that investing in apprentices results in loyal and highly skilled employees. Working alongside Shrewsbury College, we’ve seen students go from strength to strength over the past 21 years.”

Many of the business’s apprentices have achieved prestigious awards including Site Carpenter Joe Price, who was named as the UK’s Advanced Apprentice of the Year and ranked 5th in the international WorldSkills competition last year. Fellow employee and former apprentice, Scott Jones, recently received a high commendation from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and scooped the Blockley’s Student of the Year Silver Trowel in 2010.

And it’s not just the apprentices who have made the headlines. 2011 saw J R Slee recognised at the National Apprenticeship Awards, the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s Business Awards and an exclusive reception for WorldSkills, hosted by HRH the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace. The company, which has carried out work at sites such as Shrewsbury Abbey, the Pengwern Boat Club and Ryton Village Hall, was also listed as a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer by the National Apprenticeship Service in 2011, alongside The London Underground and Bentley Motors.

“We are a Shropshire business that employs local people and by training our own apprentices, we can invest in the future,” said Mr Slee. “Maintaining our close relationship with the College is very important.”

Construction and Engineering apprentices at Shrewsbury College are amongst those who will directly benefit from the College’s recent Technology block refurbishment.  The £3million project was completed in September last year and will be officially opened during Apprenticeship Week in February 2012.
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