We visited the site of an impressive new housing development in Meole Brace, Shrewsbury, to speak to Asset Surfacing’s newest highways maintenance apprentice, Joe Griffiths. As part of this project, the company are involved in the groundwork, paving, drainage, installation of electrical pipes and tarmacking, with Joe getting stuck in right at the centre of the action.
Asset Surfacing was founded in 2007, when company director Phil Allmark decided to build the foundations for his own company. Fast-forward to today, they employ over 50 specialist staff and boast a fantastic local reputation, including being Shropshire Council approved contractors.
Former Mary Webb School student Joe first became interested in working in the construction trade after a recommendation from his uncle, who also works at Asset Surfacing. “It was the type of work I wanted to do” says Joe. “I really wanted to get stuck in with physical work, I’m fascinated by landscaping and groundworking, so it seemed like the sort of work for me.”
Joe emailed the company whilst still in school, expressing a desire to work for them via an apprenticeship and they responded. Phil then contacted our apprenticeship team to get a place set up for him.
“I love the before and after of any job I work on. I get to see how the land lays and after finishing our work, there’s a brand-new road that completely changes the landscape. You get a real sense of appreciation over the time and effort that goes into making a road that everyone takes for granted.”
“Its so much better working as a team on big jobs, we get to see so much of the county and speak to so many people, its more sociable and it makes for a really dynamic work environment.”
“Being in college full time doesn’t interest me as much as what I do now. I’m able to get stuck into some hard work and I get more of a sense of achievement than if I was sat in a classroom studying theory. I also like getting paid a salary as it helps me plan my life financially and teaches me how to budget.”
“Joe is an outstanding apprentice, exactly how you would like one” says director Phil. “He listens well, works hard and one day will make a fantastic, trained operative.”
“Considering the stress the industry is under, after certain factors like Brexit and the lack of available trained staff, the apprentice route will obviously take time but it is the best way to expand our workforce with new talent.
“Our company grew by establishing good working relations and the main ingredient to our success is good staff. Sometimes they are hard to find but we have trained up our own people with our own ethos and the results speak for themselves.”
When he finishes his apprenticeship, Joe hopes to stay with Asset Surfacing. “They’re a good group of lads, I have an amazing boss and there’s a fantastic work ethic. No two weeks are the same and I really enjoy it.”
Have you got what it takes to succeed in an apprenticeship in highway maintenance? Apply now or contact our apprenticeship team at email@example.com.