Despite the impact of COVID19, we are remaining fully focussed on supporting our existing students as well as thinking about those in Year 11 who will be considering life after school.

We are planning for our annual Summer Programme, starting on 8th July 2020, confidant that current restrictions will have been lifted by then.  The six-week introductory course has proven to be a fantastic way to give students the opportunity to get a head start on building their construction career with a high proportion of those attending moving quickly into full-time training or an apprenticeship after completion.    There are NO specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE grades.

Luke Clayton is a brilliant example of Summer Programme success having secured a Bricklaying Apprenticeship with Townsend and Rideout shortly after finishing the course in 2019.  It was great to catch up with Luke, who’s been working on an AMAZING renovation project for the past few months (see picture below).  Keep up the great work, Luke!

Q: What do you enjoy most about ACE?

A: The work atmosphere because it is always so positive. It’s easy to get on with your own work but help is always on hand if you need it.

Q: What are hoping to do in the future?

A: I am planning to continue on to do my level 3 Apprenticeship and keep on getting as much site experience as I can!

Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about going into construction training after school??

A: Definitely join the ACE Summer Programme and get a head start. It gives you a chance to try a trade which can then quickly lead on to a career, like it did for me. It was also a great way to meet new people after leaving school and a fun and relaxed way to learn.

If you fancy following in Luke’s footsteps, register your interest today by emailing Sonia King at [email protected]



We caught up with the brilliant Leon Construction OC Ltd based at Little Chesterton near Bicester. We’ve worked with Leon for a number of years now and they have been firm supporters of apprentices and training all that time, as they told us:

Tell us about your apprentice?
Leon Construction OC Ltd has two apprentices. George, who will soon be in his second year with us and our new apprentice Harvey. Both of our boys are exceptionally good, always on time and keen to learn. Construction work is often extremely early starts and long days, often in quite hostile weather and both of our boys just get on with it.

What made you decide to take on an apprentice?
As a company, our aim is to provide a high-quality experience for all our clients and customer satisfaction is at the heart of our business ethos. To achieve this, Leon Construction OC Ltd employ the best people in their respective fields and continue, to train, develop and support our staff, to ensure their expertise remains within the organisation. Leon Construction OC Ltd decided to start an apprenticeship scheme, as we are passionate about learning and developing people, and as a company we want to offer opportunities for promotion and as a result, we are proud to have a full team working to the same exceptional standards as our directors Leon O’Callaghan and Ted Owen.

Why do you think we have a shortage of young people going into construction in the UK?
Manual labour is hard and young people are more used to roles behind the desk and increasingly young people are less hands on, therefore might not think they have the skills to go on learning a trade.

What would you say to companies out there that don’t take on apprentices?
We would encourage companies to try at least. If you find a good candidate, you can develop them to fit into your work culture and it is quite satisfying to see them learn and develop and then be able to carry out work independently.

What would you say to anyone thinking about taking up construction as a career?
If you work hard and are good what you do, you always have a job if you have learned a trade and instead of leaving the school with lots of student loans, you can earn while you learn.

Find out more about Leon Construction OC Ltd here.

Samm Murphy is an Advanced Apprentice in Brickwork, working for Wain & Francis in Witney. Samm came to ACE on a pre-apprenticeship course, before starting his Intermediate Apprenticeship and then progressing to the Advanced level with his employer. He has developed impressively as an apprentice and has won awards at the Oxfordshire Construction Training Group (OCTG) annual awards on two occasions. Samm is a positive and enthusiastic champion of his trade and has supported a number of school activities which promote the industry to primary and secondary age students.

Employer / R S Builders

ACE are working with R S Builders to provide on site training for experienced staff alongside Apprentice assessment visits. OSAT allows experienced tradesmen to quickly gain an NVQ certificate through on site assessment by a qualified tutor. The centre offers a drastically reduced rate for OSAT where businesses already employ an ACE Apprentice, and combines the assessment training in the same visit.

I found my OSAT training easy and very interesting; all the site observations were pre-arranged to suit me and my clients. I would recommend ACE Training to any tradesperson interested in doing OSAT.