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BESA Training appoints new director and restructures its approach to apprentices

Trade body is overhauling its training division with a new director and a revised approach to supporting apprenticeships and providing training programmes across the UK

BESA has appointed a new director of training to overhaul the organisation’s focus on skills programmes and how it supports apprenticeships working in the built environment sector.

The organisation has announced that Helen Yeulet will now serve as director of its training operations, replacing Tony Howard in the position.

A key focus for the new BESA Training director will be to push apprenticeship opportunities in Wales and Scotland. The organisation said it would be “withdrawing from English apprenticeships” to support a new business strategy from April.

Ms Yeulet said, “We are refocusing our resources into developing a new strategy where we can make the most impact.”

“This new direction means BESA Training will become the ‘bridge’ between employers and training centres in England and will encourage employers to get involved in course development to ensure the training model meets their requirements.”

Ms Yeulet added that the organisation would be using its resources to establish short courses and skills programme for more experience workers. This would allow improved support for adult training and upskilling across the building services sector.

Ms Yeulet, formerly skills director of the Finishes & Interiors Sector (FIS) and director of the career-support charity YouthBuild Ventures, said she intended to use her tenure to refocus how BESA supports apprenticeships.

Ms Yeulet said that BESA Training had provided support for 500 apprenticeships in the building services sector over the course of 2019. The organisation was also responsible for about 1400 short courses, she added.

Ms Yeulet said ongoing investment in industry training was now vital to future proof the sector against a range of challenges.

She said, “As we mark National Apprenticeships Week, it is important to acknowledge that our industry faces a severe skills shortage that is predicted to worsen in coming years as the rate of retirement exceeds the rate at which younger workers join.”

BESA chief executive David Frise thanked exiting training director Tony Howard for his work over a number of years in delivering vital skills and training programmes to industry.

Mr Frise added, “He worked tirelessly to reshape training provision in the building engineering sector and leaves a substantial legacy for us to build on.”

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