Tynemouth Decorators Ltd are well known in the North Tyneside area as one of the most forward-thinking companies in terms of taking on apprentices.
This year has been no different, despite restrictions and limitation imposed by a global pandemic.
We chatted with Stephen Hull of Tynemouth Decorators to find out how the company is moving forward since the local community has opened up after lockdown.
How has business been during the past 18 months?
It’s been really tricky, as it has been for all businesses. Covid has presented us with a challenge no one was prepared for and, as a company, we’ve had to close our doors three times during the past 18 months because of lockdowns and members of our team having Covid.
It’s been a challenge to keep the work going when we’ve had team members contracting the virus and it’s common sense to keep everyone safe by just closing the doors to make sure we don’t pass it on. That’s meant our workload has been interrupted on more than one occasion but we have to keep staff and customers safe so it had to happen.
Thankfully, our team are responsible and our customers have been very understanding while we’ve been isolating. We’ve tried to pick up where we’ve left off with decorating jobs so everyone who is booked in has been looked after, even if it was a little delayed.
How has Covid changed your working practices?
We are very much returning to business as usual but our eyes firmly on health and safety in the workplace with regard to possible Covid issues. We wear PPE where necessary and possible and our team members know they’re to keep a distance, clean their hands and generally behave responsibly around cleanliness and protecting each other and our customers.
It’s well worth the extra investment in equipment, clothing and processes to keep everyone safe and ensure we can keep our doors open for the foreseeable future.
And your apprentices – that’s something that hasn’t changed even during lockdown. Tell us about them.
We’ve always taken on apprentices in this business. It’s in our interest to keep the talent coming through the generations and there are always young people on the look out for training and career progression in the area.
We’ve had a total of nine apprentices since 2006 and we’re currently trialling Rohan who we hope will be our number ten.
Rohan reached out to us on Facebook to ask if he could be our apprentice – that showed some initiative and drive, which we love. We then signed up on a government-backed traineeship with Barnardo’s in North Shields for seven weeks. Graham Lowery is the construction training supervisor there and he’s helped us manage the process. Once the training finishes, we’re hoping that Rohan will sign up as a full apprentice to start a CITB approved apprenticeship in Painting and Decorating.
This is all done with the support of Barnardo’s and the apprenticeship will last three years.
We’re strong believers that apprentices are the future of any business. They help many businesses grow while, at the same time, safeguarding the future of the company. Selected right, they become a crucial part of our team and we would highly recommend other companies look into the benefits taking on apprentices can bring.
We love to encourage all our employees to get involved with the work we do in the community and we hope Rohan will enjoy that aspect of working with us too. There’s more information about that on our Community Facebook page.
And how did you come to join the North Tyneside Business Forum?
We were introduced to the Business Forum when we met up with Michael from NE1 Web Design, he is a member of the Forum Management Team. We wanted to improve our online presence and Michael recommended we join the Forum. NE1 Web Design worked closely with us to redesign and structure our website too.
You can find out more about Tynemouth Decorators Ltd at www.tynemouthdecorators.co.uk