A BUILDING firm is marking National Apprenticeship Week with a pledge to have 10 per cent of its workforce made up of appren-tices, trainees and graduates.

Family-owned Poole business Stepnell currently has 13 apprentices in training across the south of England and the Midlands.

The firm hopes its apprenticeship programme – which covers such trades as joinery, bricklaying, painting and decorating, plant mechanics and groundworks – will attract more young people into construction careers.

Its training programme offers work experience as well as one- to-one mentoring.

Karen Ryan, Stepnell best practice manager, said: “National Apprenticeship Week provides us with a great opportunity to promote construction careers and the wide range of fantastic opportunities our industry offers both men and women.

“Stepnell has always been a great supporter and believer in apprenticeships which have played an important role in helping the business attract, train and recruit talented new people.

“These people have in turn, brought fresh ideas and inno-vation into the company, ensuring our long-term growth and success.”