By Bev Hawes
An advanced apprenticeship is providing new career opportunities for William Woods and at 25 he is proof that it is never too late to start learning new skills.
William from Stroud initially worked for Cheltenham-based NKS Contracts Central UK for 18 months as a general labourer.
Because of his commitment the company offered him an advanced apprenticeship in electrical installation in September 2012.
NKS Contracts Central UK Ltd, has been hiring apprentices for the past seven years in conjunction with South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS).
The college is supporting our campaign, The Age of the Apprentice, together with Gloucestershire College, Gloucestershire Engineering Training, Western Power Distribution, Delphi Diesel Systems and Speller Metcalfe. It highlights the opportunities available and culminates in SkillsFest 2014 at Gloucestershire College on March 7 to 8.
William said: " "After my A-Levels I went travelling and by this time I thought it was too late to learn a trade.
"By working hard as a labourer with NKS, an opportunity to become an electrician and gain an apprenticeship to support me into becoming a skilled and qualified tradesman became available and I didn't have to think twice."
The organisation continues to see the benefits of training new apprentices and has expanded its provision to provide more opportunities within the company.
The apprenticeship initiative has been so successful that NKS introduced an electrical apprenticeship 18 months ago in addition to plumbing and carpentry.
The company now hires around four apprentices each year.
The construction based organisation have also supported apprentices who have been made redundant, by providing them with continued work experience to complete their apprenticeship programme, while providing additional manpower to meet their business needs.
Jason Titcombe, director at NKS Contacts Central, said: "As a local employer we believe our apprenticeship programme is fundamental to the continued success of our company, whilst providing the individual with the necessary skills so they may embark on a career in the construction industry. SGS College always provides first class training to all our apprentices and has tailored the courses to suit our company's future needs."