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Bell Group wins at Scottish Apprenticeship Awards

Bell Group wins at Scottish Apprenticeship Awards Posted on 21 March 2023

Apprentices at Bell Decorating Group's Airdrie HQ

The employer and member of the Scottish Decorators’ Federation is dedicated to providing opportunities to people from under-represented groups and has been recognised at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards. The company won ‘Large Employer of the Year – Promoting Diversity’ at the ceremony on 8th March 2023.

Bell Decorating Group offers work experience placements and taster days to a range of people including refugees, care leavers, ex-offenders, cadets and those leaving the military.

The firm has employed more than 1,000 apprentices since 1984 and offered a taster session to Ukrainian refugees on 6th March to promote apprenticeship vacancies.

Founder George Bell started out as an apprentice and today the painting and building maintenance contractor has a vision to employ 100 apprentices a year nationally over the next five years.

The business currently employs 89 apprentices in Scotland, through modern apprenticeships in painting and decorating, carpentry and joinery, site management, occupational work supervision and construction management.

Julie Lawrenson, Head of Learning & Organisational Development, said: “Having recently had our application to offer jobs to Ukrainians granted by the Home Office, we are currently working on a specific project in Scotland in collaboration with key partners by opening doors to promote the construction sector and apprenticeship vacancies to refugees.”

The company retained all apprentices at its training centre in Airdrie through the pandemic. Julie added: “We are proud of what we have achieved through our Apprenticeship Training Centre.  We were awarded a Scottish Government contract for the delivery of painting and decorating apprenticeships and opened in Spring 2020 just as the country went into lockdown.

“Despite the challenges of having to recruit and deliver our programme remotely for the first six months, we recruited 13 new apprentices and managed to sustain them on programme.  We have since recruited a further 24 apprentices who are being trained through our training centre and the aspiration is to grow our programme  year on year from 2023 with an aspiration this year to recruit an additional 40 apprentices across Scotland.”

The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards took place on 8th March 2023. See the event here.

Find out more about Bell Decorating Group here.

Read our interview with SDF member Craig Bell here.