Exeter branch launch event – October 2011
We now employ 20 staff in Devon, including 8 electrical apprentices, and last week we celebrated the official launch of our new branch in Exeter. With another new branch in Newquay and one opening next year in Plymouth, this strengthens our commitment to expansion in the South West.
Our total workforce of over 350 staff are based at branches covering much of southern England, the Midlands and South Wales, but it’s only in the last six months that business has really taken off in Devon and Cornwall.
Despite operating in an industry that has struggled through the recession, we have steadily expanded in the last two years and Steve Evans, managing director, puts this down to two key things. “We invest heavily in staff development and have a strong emphasis on customer service”, said Steve. “We usually employ at least 40 apprentices every year across all branches, offering them a long-term career path. The vast majority progress to become our team leaders and everyone is taught from day one that in our customers’ eyes we’re only as good as our last job”.
Amongst those who attended the official opening of the Exeter branch were senior staff from our key customers – the UK’s leading house builders – as well as Councillor Kevin Mitchell (Deputy Lord Mayor of Exeter) and Richard Daulton, Employer Services Manager at the National Apprenticeship Service. Richard commented on the clear importance of workforce development to the success of the business, saying “A significant amount of the reputation and growth of Clarkson Evans can be directly attributed to their substantial and sustained investment in Apprenticeships”.
When asked about plans for further growth in the South West, Steve Evans is cautiously optimistic about the future. “These remain difficult times for the house building industry but there are positive signs that we’ll be able to expand our workforce and offer more apprenticeships in the coming months. We’re pressing forward not just with the volume of sites we’re working on but also the range of services we offer – solar photovoltaic installations are in particular high demand”, said Steve.