A Telford company has pledged to ensure skills are not lost by launching a plastering apprenticeship.

FIS member V&D Interiors has already had a trial run of their scheme, a six-week scheme supported by Saint Gobains British Gypsum, which led to five students passing a course, two with distinction.

The business, which is working with SBC Training, now aims to stage apprenticeships in May and September and want to provide an opportunity for local people, bridging the construction gap.

Contracts manager and head trainer Paul Nightingale: “We know there is a serious shortage in skilled labour in the industry and wanted to do something about it.

“We purchased a building in 2019 which has three separate units and there was always the belief and driving ambition to use a unit as an academy and training centre.

“We now have the facility to get our ambitions up an and running and hopefully we can work with apprentices, moving forward, and hopefully they will come through and and start a career with us or go on to do their own thing.”

“Plastering is such an important skill and we don’t want it to be lost so we have to address the skills shortage. We have come to a point where there’s no new blood coming through with the skills.

“So we have realised this is important and we need to pass on the experience of our staff. I have been in the industry for 40 years and I still get a buzz out of plastering a wall. You feel like you have achieved something at the end of it.

“I want to give new apprentices the passion and pride to do the job and the knowledge to learn the job.

“We have an amazing facility, which we believe is the best in the drylining and plastering industry and is endorsed by lead plastering and drylining manufacturers.”

Pictured: (L-R) Paul Nightingale (V&D), Calvin Challis (V&D) and Colin Thaw (SBC Training)