Forterra continues to invest in its employees with new cohort of apprentices and graduates

Posted on 6 Feb 2023 by The Manufacturer

Leading building products manufacturer, Forterra, has recently welcomed four new apprentices and three graduates as part of its Apprenticeship and Graduate schemes.

Forterra is committed to developing new and existing talent and has several schemes that provide multiple opportunities for those seeking a career in manufacturing from sales to mechatronics and helps participants learn and develop skills in a practical way, awarding them with a qualification.

2022’s intake joins a total of 14 apprentices and graduates who have completed the programmes and now hold a full-time position with Forterra.

Four Mechatronics NVQ Level 3 apprentices have now started their journey – Jaydn Hall, based at the Accrington plant in Lancashire; Oliver Ayling at Red Bank in Measham, Leicestershire; Owen Freeman at Wilnecote in Staffordshire; and Ethan Ross at Somercotes in Derbyshire.

Forterra Apprentices, Oliver Ayling, Ethan Ross, Jaydn Hall and Owen Freeman

Forterra Apprentices, Oliver Ayling, Ethan Ross, Jaydn Hall and Owen Freeman

Oliver Ayling

Name: Oliver Ayling

Age: 17

Where from: Swadlincote

Programme/pathway: Mechatronics Apprenticeship / Engineering Apprentice

Current site placement: Measham Redbank

Quote: “We have been treated well by both Forterra and the training provider. The apprenticeship is really well catered for and the support we have had living away (residential) has been great. I have learnt a lot in my first three months and love the time I spend on site too. I find the sites fascinating. Everyone is so welcoming – I thought I might get a little picked on being such a young apprentice in the workplace, but everyone has treated me like any other member of the team.”

Ethan Ross

Name: Ethan Ross

Age: 16

Where from: Alfreton

Programme/pathway: Mechatronics Apprenticeship / Engineering Apprentice

Current site placement: Somercotes

Quote: “I am really looking forward to doing more work on site and learning the role more. I am excited about becoming qualified and feel this is a good start to my career as an engineer. Forterra have been excellent, and I have been treated really well by everyone.”

Jaydn Hall

Name: Jaydn Hall

Age: 16

Where from: Accrington

Programme/pathway: Mechatronics Apprenticeship / Engineering Apprentice

Current site placement: Accrington

Quote: “This apprenticeship was recommended to me by my dad who also works for Forterra. I thought it would be a good career for me. I am really enjoying the apprenticeship so far and looking forward to my career progressing in the future even further with Forterra.”

Owen Freeman

Name: Owen Freeman

Age: 16

Where from: Birmingham

Programme/pathway: Mechatronics Apprenticeship / Engineering Apprentice

Current site placement: Wilnecote

Quote: “I feel like I’ve always wanted to go into engineering. I knew this would be a good career path. I felt like an apprenticeship would be a better option for me, rather than college, as you get real on-the-job experience as well as getting paid. You are also pretty much guaranteed a job at the end of it, unlike if I did a college course. It has been really good so far. I’m having a great time and the people here are great too.”

The new graduate cohort includes Randolf Olarte who joins Operations in Measham as well as Hannah Yell and Millie Pratt, who join the Commercial team at Whittlesey near Peterborough and continue to mark the important inclusion of women into a mainly male dominated industry. Hannah and Millie make up the first four female graduates to pass through Forterra’s graduate scheme. Having started her journey in 2019, Nia Lewis was the first female graduate to secure a permanent role at the Desford plant in 2022.

Forterra graduates Milly Pratt (Commercial Grad), Randolf Olarte (Operations Grad) and Hannah Yell (Commercial Grad)

Forterra graduates Milly Pratt (Commercial Grad), Randolf Olarte (Operations Grad) and Hannah Yell (Commercial Grad)

Milly Pratt

Name: Milly Pratt

Age: 21

Where from: Rushden

Programme/pathway: Graduate Rotational Excellence Programme (GREP)

Current site placement: Whittlesey

Quote: “After a great first three months with Forterra I am very excited to see what the rest of my graduate programme entails. I look forward to meeting more Forterra colleagues and expanding my network in my next rotations.”

Randolf Olarte

Name: Randolf Olarte

Age: 25

Where from: Leicester

Programme/pathway: Graduate Rotational Excellence Programme (GREP)

Current site placement: Measham

Quote: “The GREP programme is a massive steppingstone that will launch my career within Forterra and the manufacturing industry. I’m looking forward to developing my knowledge of the products as well as the raw materials and the processes that make them. I’m also looking forward to the guided personal and professional development that the programme offers so that I become a more rounded individual.”

Hannah Yell

Name: Hannah Yell

Age: 23

Where from: Lincoln

Programme/pathway: Graduate Rotational Excellence Programme (GREP)

Current site placement: Whittlesey, Customer Service Centre

Quote: “I’m most looking forward to the exposure to various functions within the business and piecing all these experiences together in my future commercial career. That’s the great thing about Forterra’s GREP programme, graduates are provided with access to a wealth of development opportunities and support along the journey.”

The apprenticeship scheme runs for four years and sees participants get a fully rounded induction to the industry with site visits, on the job learning and mentorship. In the first year apprentices embark on a residential with Make UK based in Birmingham with a focus on attending college while also providing days working on a site. In the second year the apprentices are placed at the site local to their homestead and where they will eventually receive a full-time position after successful completion of the apprenticeship programme.

The graduate scheme offers a two year programme into fast tracked management roles and sees graduates get in-depth training that follows a rotational programme of six-month placements. The first month sees a full induction to the company with tours of every site and even a day with a HGV driver.

Michelle Francis, Head of Talent Management for Forterra said, “We are excited to welcome our new apprentices and graduates and we can’t wait to support them on the next leg of their journey.

“We are extremely proud of these programmes and with approximately 3.6% of our workforce already in on-the-job training we’re well on the way to meeting, and likely beating, the 5% target as part of the 5% Club.

“We believe in continuous learning and invest in our employees at any age. Without a doubt it’s good for our business and good for our employees.”

Forterra is continually seeking new talent to join its workforce as well as invest in current employees. In the next year Forterra aims to attract more women to its programmes and having been awarded its bronze membership in the 5% Club recently is working to achieve silver next year.

To find out more about apprenticeship and graduate schemes with Forterra visit:

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