Modular building firm looks to future as it recruits top young talent

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 10 Jan 2019

East Yorkshire modular building firm Integra has one eye on the future as it recruits nine new apprentices to join its team.

The business, based in Paull, Holderness, said it hoped its young batch of joiners, welders and designers would stay with Integra “for 10 or 20 years.”

All of the new apprentices have been recruited from East Riding College, and represent a significant investment from the modular specialist.

Gary Parker, managing director, said: “The last few years have seen massive growth, both within the modular buildings industry and in terms of investment in our own business.

“Apprentices have always formed part of our growth plans. When we first moved to our former site at Burstwick we expanded and recruited a few apprentices, most of whom are still with us and are now in their thirties. 

The new apprentices at Integra Buildings (Integra)

“Now we’re at our new site we’ve taken on another nine new apprentices, all in the past six months.  All of them are doing really well, they’re really keen. 

“I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship at 16 and train as an electrician.  I had that opportunity and I’m hoping these lads get the same break.”

Read more: BAE is looking for apprentices to join its East Yorkshire site

One of the new apprentices to have joined Integra is Karl Johnson, 20, from Hornsea.

Karl is a design and draughtsperson apprentice, working in the technical team at Integra.  

He said: “I went to Hornsea Sixth Form and did my A-Levels but didn’t want to go to university, so looked for an apprenticeship.

Gary Parker, MD at Integra Buildings (Integra)

“Uni just wasn’t for me so this was a good option. I’ve enjoyed working alongside studying - it gets you where you want to be.

“It gives you a bit more of an advantage in some cases because it’s hard to get a job right out of uni at the moment and you come out with a ridiculous amount of debt.

Read more: Former HETA learner urges apprentices to aim for the top

“If you’ve got the technical experience then it gives you an advantage over your peers and you get to make money whilst you’re getting your qualifications.”

Founded back in 1997, Integra today employs around 100 people across East Yorkshire.

Watch: James Needham wins Apprentice of the Year at the 2018 HDM Business Awards

The business supplies mainly modular educational buildings to councils, but also works with the likes of Sport England and the NHS.

Another part of the business supplies bespoke marketing suites to major housing developers across the UK.

Mr Parker said recruiting apprentices was “the way forward,” and hoped they would remain at the company for the long-term.

Read more: Young apprentices learning from the professionals at award-winning North Lincolnshire restaurant

He said: “We sometimes struggle to recruit time-served people of the right calibre and I think it’s good to give young people the same opportunity that was afforded to me.

“I’m looking for our apprentices to still be with us in 10 or 20 years’ time – that’s the way forward.

“Recruiting these apprentices has been a really positive experience so far.  On our new site, we’ve got everything in place to accommodate growth in our apprenticeship scheme, including an on-site training room and our new welfare facilities, where assessors can meet with our apprentices."

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