JT Dove stresses key role of apprenticeships to Berwick candidate
Following the General Election, the new Government must remember that housing is not built and homes are not improved without the involvement of builders, plumbers and timber merchants.
That was the message from JT Dove, the North East’s independent builders’ merchant, to Anne-Marie Trevelyan when she visited the 148-year old business in Berwick.
The Conservative candidate for Berwick was shown around by managing director, Steve Robinson, and discussed the role, value and importance of merchants in creating local jobs and growth.
Mr Robinson explained how the company is investing in its 17-strong branch network.
He also raised several key issues facing the construction industry including housing demand & supply, vocational training and skills (especially apprentices), and the consequences of the vote to leave the European Union.
Mr Robinson is also regional chairman of the Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF) that represents the interests of merchants and manufacturers with a combined annual worth of £24.6 billion.
Mrs Trevelyan was particularly interested in the latest BMF economic data that shows sales figures across the UK in February were up nearly eight per cent in total, compared to the same time in 2016.
Mrs Trevelyan said: “I was delighted to visit JT Dove and learn of their contribution to not only rural Northumberland’s prosperity, but also the wider North Eastern economy. I pay tribute to branch manager, Eddie Burness, and his team in helping customers with their building projects.
“Housing and home-ownership are central to my party’s thinking and our work on the Northern Powerhouse. I want to see a modern industrial strategy continue to succeed here in the North East. Boosting output and employment, educational achievement, and the quality of life in less-well performing parts of the country, compared to London and the South East, must continue to be our aim.”
Mrs Trevelyan was keen to hear about the company’s apprenticeship programme, and took the opportunity to chat to apprentice Lee Charlton.
She said: “I’ve really enjoyed finding out more about Doves and their company, especially the training initiatives they offer their staff. “
Mr Robinson said: “I was grateful to Anne-Marie for taking time to come and gain insight into our supply chain. We wanted to show her that builders’ merchants create meaningful jobs, at all levels. Apprentices are central to this and we want to see the next Government doing more to redress the parity of esteem between academic and vocational training.”