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Modern Apprenticeships have helped an Alness-based company create a ‘high calibre’ workforce.

Civil engineering firm Pat Munro was established 72 years ago with one employee and a small quarry.

The company has grown substantially and prides itself on being a local employer which is at the heart of the Easter Ross community.

Operations Director Mark Bramley said: “We invest in apprenticeships because it aligns with our vision of ‘building for the next generation’ and providing opportunities within our community.

“We are able to secure long-term team members to support succession planning and business sustainability.

“Our apprentices have been ‘brought up’ in a working sense, with our culture and values around them. It becomes second nature to them – allowing us to have confidence that they’ll represent the business well with colleagues, customers and the public.”

The firm hopes that by investing in apprentices early in their career, they will embrace and enjoy the opportunity to gain skills, qualify, develop and look for more challenges within the business in the future.

The company has strong links with local schools and offers work experience to pupils. It has recruited a civil engineering Foundation Apprentice and Graduate Level Apprentice, as well as an older apprentice who is retraining after changing careers.

Mark said: “In business, it is important not to stand still, to not simply do things they way you’ve always done them, but to constantly look at new techniques, technological advances and new ideas to keep moving in a competitive environment.

“At the heart of that is diversity of employment, so fresh thinking and new ideas can emerge. This allows the business to constantly challenge itself and keep it moving forward and progressing.”

He said: “We generally find that apprentices bring enthusiasm, freshness and vibrancy to the workplace, keeping the long-serving team members sharper, feeling younger and really positively adding to the workplace environment.”

The company was nominated by CITB’s Billy Baxter who said: “Each apprentice has their own training plan and mentor to assist them in their learning and development.

The experienced staff involved in this have a good understanding of their role in creating opportunities to expose their apprentices to as many areas of the job as possible in order to build on their experience and skills. They have created a workforce of high calibre.”

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