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Apprentice accolade puts Kris on the career fast track

An apprentice, who was among the first to take part in a trade body’s pioneering training programme within a specialist area of construction, has been named one of the best trainees in the country.

Kris Marriott, aged 33, has won the Southern Counties Apprentice of the Year accolade at the recent Southern Counties and London Master Builder Awards.

From Biocraft UK – based in Reading – Kris will now go up against other winning apprentices from across the UK for the chance to win the coveted National Apprentice 2019 crown, as well as a cash prize of £500 from the Federation of Master Builders. The result will be announced in September.

Kris was among the first group of trainees to join the Property Care Association’s NVQ Level 2 diploma in Insulation and Building Treatments (Wood Preserving and Damp Proofing) apprenticeship in December 2015.

The cohort took two years to complete their training, with a programme including 21 days of offsite training held at the PCA’s dedicated educational facility in Huntingdon.

Supported and funded by CITB, the programme has gone from strength-to-strength since Kris and the others in the first cohort were inducted.

It has an industry-high retention rate of 91 per cent, with 18 students having passed the NVQ and a further 17 currently going through the training.

The programme provides a springboard into an area of construction not always considered as a career option and draws in trainees from companies based across the UK, in both PCA member and non-member organisations.

Jade Stocker, the PCA’s Training Manager, said: “We are delighted that Kris’s work has been recognised at this level.

“It is a well-earned achievement and we wish him luck in the next stage of the contest.”

According to the PCA, new recruits to the property maintenance and preservation sector are vital, to ensure the skills in this specialist area of construction are retained and fine-tuned for the next generation.

They say the apprenticeship is a valuable way of addressing a skills gap within the property care industry.

The programme covers important skills necessary to preserve and protect properties, with insight into subjects including wet and dry rot, wood boring insects, rising damp and timber treatments.

Kris Marriot said: “I am really pleased to achieve this award.

“Previously I had been a labourer with several other companies and when I joined Biocraft UK, I asked Martin Fosbrook, the managing director, about an apprenticeship to improve my job prospects.

“The apprenticeship was almost a return to education for me. It was daunting starting the training, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and never looked back.”

Kris has worked for Biocraft UK for 10 years and the company has an award-winning approach to staff development.

Last year the business secured the Training and Staff Development title, at the PCA’s annual awards, held at The Slate, University of Warwick, as well as a Highly Commended accolade in the Outstanding Customer Service Category.

Run by Martin and Jill Fosbrook, Biocraft UK carries out specialist damp-proofing, timber treatments and basement waterproofing and conversions across Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.

Martin said: “We are very proud of all that Kris has achieved.

“Apprentices are key to the development and success of our business. Kris’ award is testimony to the opportunities and career satisfaction in our company and in the industry.

“The PCA apprenticeship is an excellent industry specific programme that meets the needs of our business.”

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