Business Before Hours Sponsored by Moorgate Finance | Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce

Local Apprentices Share Their ‘Skills for Life’ for National Apprenticeship Week

Neville Trust group of companies, a longstanding family business comprising of Neville Funerals, Neville Special Projects and Neville Joinery, is set to celebrate the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week (Feb 5-11, 2024).  By celebrating their talented apprentices and emphasising the positive impact of vocational learning, Neville Trust is contributing to the broader effort of promoting apprenticeships as a valuable path for both individuals and businesses.

This year, the theme for the week is appropriately ‘Skills for Life’. Vicky Trumper, Director at Neville Trust, explains why training and nurturing young people remains an important focus for the business: “Our commitment to recruiting, training, and enhancing the skills of apprentices from local schools and colleges is an integral part of our legacy. Just as T&E Neville initiated its first apprenticeship in 1881, our dedication to providing vocational training to young people remains unwavering to this day. It is part of how we contribute to the growth and development of our local communities by creating job opportunities and nurturing local talent.”

It’s clear that the influence of Thomas and Edward Neville is still ever-present within Neville Trust six generations on. The company, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year, wants other businesses within the Hertfordshire community to recognise the strengths of the younger generations, and committing to opening employment opportunities for those who wish to explore alternative career routes.

“Much better for personal development”

Will, Apprentice Site Manager for Neville Special Projects began his apprenticeship in 2023, having started his studies at university as a full-time student before deciding that it wasn’t for him. On the impact his apprenticeship has had on him, he said, “I can confidently say an apprenticeship is much better for personal development and getting a foothold in a career early on. Learning on site and being paid to learn academically is the best of both worlds, and I really think that within the next five years I will be able to understand most aspects of managing a site – from dealing with people, to health and safety, as well as the administrative work involved.”

For many young people traditional routes for further education, like university, aren’t the right fit. Furthermore, the UPP Foundation and Higher Education Policy estimates that 58% of university students believe that their degree doesn’t prepare you for the real world.

86% of Employers Think Apprenticeships Develop Business

According to, 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop the skills relevant to their organisation. Josh, Apprentice Quantity Surveyor at Neville Special Projects remarked that listening “to the knowledge and wisdom of his peers” will be extremely valuable to his own career. However, he also believes that it’s these Skills for Life, which are “highly sought after and a huge benefit to employers”.

There’s also something to be said for the experience garnered through vocational learning, something which can ensure projects are completed company-wide, to a consistent, high-quality. Apprentice Painter & Decorator Sophie agrees, stating: “I’ve learned a lot about how to properly prepare rooms for painting and decorating. I can cut and roll walls and ceilings and apply paint systems to intricate woodwork. These are valuable for completing work at a high quality.”

The apprenticeships offered by the Neville Trust Group of Companies range from Business Administration, Marketing and Accounts to trade roles, such as Bench Joinery, Decorating and Electrical. Across the industries in which it operates, the company’s apprenticeship programme tackles short-term and long-term skills shortages – with a cohort of home-grown talent and a new generation of young and aspiring employees who are informed about the training and development options open to them.

Information about the Neville Trust Apprenticeship Programme can be found on the website.