College leavers from Kent are set to benefit from apprenticeships in drylining offered in a pioneering collaboration between leading support services provider Carillion and its supplier of plaster and drylining products, Knauf Drywall.

Initially, 10 apprentices will undertake an 18 month training course that will lead to a Level 2 NVQ Diploma and Level 2 Construction Diploma from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) at Knauf’s newly built state-of-the-art, training centre in Sittingbourne.

Knauf has invested in an extensive training facility, teaching rooms, an R&D laboratory and a double-height space for testing structural systems.

Steve Randall, Technical Instructor at Knauf, said: “The new facilities at Knauf provide a fantastic facility for developing construction skills. It really is the perfect learning environment.”

The apprentices will be taught the practical elements of building walls and ceilings, the current Building Regulations and how to meet them as well as the Construction Design and Management Regulations governing site safety.

After a 16-week programme, the apprentices will then work on site for Carillion’s sub-contractors so that by the end of their training they can perform all elements of drylining as well as being able to read and extract information from drawings and specifications and conform to general workplace safety guidelines, security and waste management controls.

Ian Young, Training Centre Manager at Carillion’s Sittingbourne facility, said: “As the largest training provider and employer of construction apprentices, we understand the importance of partnering with companies at the forefront of developments in the industry and who are prepared to invest in state-of-the-art training facilities. By supporting young apprentices now, companies like Carillion and Knauf are collaborating to help transform the lives of these young people and ensure a sustainable and skilled workforce for the construction industry.”

Pete Riding, National Accounts Director at Knauf, added: “Developing this type of bespoke training is a good example of how we seek to add value and act as a partner rather than simply a supplier.”