Known to many a Lancashire apprentice as their ‘work mum’, Anne Collard has spent over 13 years supporting trainees Redrow’s Chorley-based business.
Her hard work, caring nature and passionate approach has seen Anne named national ‘Apprentice Champion’ at the our Apprentice Excellence Awards, an accolade she was both “surprised” and “extremely proud” to receive.
Apprentice coordinator Anne has taken on more than 100 trade trainees, who she supports from induction to the completion of their apprenticeship, which is usually three years later.
“I’ve been called a ‘work mum’ before, because the relationship I build with our apprentices is very supportive. I am always here for them to offer advice and assistance, even after they qualify,” Anne said.
“It’s a job I really enjoy and seeing them start with us, often in their late teens, and progress over time to become site managers or business owners makes it very satisfying.”
Working in an industry that has long suffered a skills shortage, Anne believes the value of apprenticeships cannot be overstated.
“We absolutely need new apprentices coming through to ensure standards within the industry,” she explained. “We’re fortunate as our programme at Redrow has such a strong reputation, so we are inundated with applications each year and the people we take on are very committed. Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to learn and gain skills while being paid on the job. And the earning capacity for the future is suburb, it really is a stepping stone for a fantastic career.”
Anne, from Coppull, is responsible for around 20 apprentices at any one time. They will be working at our developments across Lancashire and parts of Greater Manchester and Merseyside, mentored by established Redrow sub-contractors and attending day release study at local colleges.
She added: “It’s brilliant to see how successful some of them go on to be, with many running their own business or managing one of our sites. Knowing I’ve played a part in giving them that hunger to succeed is fantastic.”
Among the very first apprentices Anne supported, Ryan Tobin is now a company director at one of our longest standing contractors, brickwork specialists MP Carroll Ltd.
Ryan said: “I consider Anne to be a very good friend. She came to my wedding, where my parents thanked her for being like my ‘work mum’.
“I was young when I started with Redrow and Anne always looked after me. I knew I could ring her anytime and she would help. She’s very deserving of this award for the support she’s given to all of her apprentices and I’m really pleased she’s been recognised in this way.”
Karen Jones, Group HR director for Redrow, said: “Anne is a very worthy winner of our Apprentice Champion award. Much of her role is dedicated to supporting and inspiring our next generation of tradespeople. She’s a wonderful ambassador for apprenticeships and goes above and beyond for every apprentice she works with.”
Redrow offers a wide range of trade apprenticeships, including carpentry, electrical, bricklaying, plumbing and scaffolding, as well as office-based apprentices in a variety of administration, technical and commercial roles.
Around 15% of our total workforce are apprentices or trainees and Redrow has been a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer for many years.