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Bower Fuller refreshes recruitment resilience by ramping up relationship with Suffolk New College

News overview

Operations Manager at Bower Fuller says, ‘The relationship with Suffolk New College is growing and we are keen to make it even stronger’.

An East Anglian-based building services contractor in the construction sector is shining bright after teaming up with a local college to support their recruitment needs.

Bower Fuller – who have offices in Suffolk and Kent – attended a networking event at Suffolk New College earlier this year.

Tom, Zack and Christina posing for a photo outside Bower Fuller reception

As a result of this occasion that brought businesses and students together – they have recently employed two former students.

Thomas Shoebridge, 18, from Ipswich completed a T Level in construction at Suffolk New College.

Thomas was able to secure a full-time position after meeting (at the recruitment event) with Christina Burrows, Operations manager for Bower Fuller.

SNC learner Tom Shoebridge

Thomas explains: “As part of my T Level course I had to get 315 hours of work experience during my two years of study.  I was introduced to Christina at the networking event. We had a chat, they seemed to like my enthusiasm, so I came in (to Bower Fuller) for a couple of weeks work experience. Then I was involved in more work experience opportunities and that eventually gave me the chance to apply for (and eventually get) a position on the management trainee scheme.

“I started in late August and as part of my job, I have the opportunity to start a higher national diploma. I’m learning the business and I’m grateful for this experience. I will continue to work and study, and I will try and eventually complete a degree.

“Long term I want to become a contracts or operations manager and I’m very happy with what I am doing. My message to other young people is to put themselves out there and try and find something that you are interested in.”

Zack Weir, 18, from Kesgrave, started at Suffolk New College in 2021 as a public service student as he originally wanted to join the army. He completed this qualification but realised this wasn’t the right path for him. Zack then started an electrical installation course, and he has just secured an apprenticeship with Bower Fuller.

SNC learner Zack Weir

Zack said: “I started in September on a level three apprenticeship and I’m enjoying the work and study. You learn more by doing a job and you get paid.                                     

“The programme is for four years, then you take your final electrical testing qualification and at that point, the apprenticeship has been completed and I hope to be offered a job as an electrician.”

Christina Burrows from Bower Fuller said: “We saw the potential in Tom and Zack to join our well-established management trainee and apprenticeship programmes which provide a real opportunity for driven individuals to build a career in our exciting industry.   

“We are looking to strengthen and change the way we work in terms of recruitment, and we have found that a great way to do this is by working with the college.

“There is a social and community value to working with your local college and you can help people find their own path in terms of their future careers.

“As a business, we really needed to get creative with our recruitment as there is a skills shortage and we need new talent coming through.”

“Our relationship with Suffolk New College is growing and we are keen to make it even stronger.

“My message to others is that they should definitely reach out and see how they can benefit from working with their local college.”

For job opportunities in construction and other areas of the business at Bower Fuller, you can visit www.bowerfuller.co.uk

For course options and programme information at Suffolk New College you can visit www.suffolk.ac.uk

Posted 6 December 2023