My personal reasons for sponsoring the East Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards: David Jackson

University was never an option for me. I grew up in Bridlington, the son of a milkman and a shop assistant. It was just a short step from technical drawing being my favourite lesson in school to seeking an apprenticeship as a draughtsman.

I found an opportunity in Leeds and learned about being organised, disciplined and methodical in business. Serving an apprenticeship set me up for success.

When I met the love of my life a few years later, who came along with four children, I realised I needed to become an entrepreneur.

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I am the founder and chairman of Hudson Contract, a leading provider of business services to the construction industry and one of the largest family-owned companies in the UK.

David Jackson shares his apprenticeship journeyDavid Jackson shares his apprenticeship journey
David Jackson shares his apprenticeship journey

Like me, our managing director Ian Anfield also started his career as an apprentice. We are proud to support the inaugural East Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2024 as headline sponsor and we encourage organisations to nominate outstanding apprentices for recognition at this celebration of young people’s efforts and achievements.

On the back of business success, I noticed the difficulties on my own doorstep in East Yorkshire.

Bridlington is a seaside town and does not have many large employers to offer meaningful training opportunities for young people. It was this absence that motivated me to launch a sponsorship scheme for apprentices to learn valuable trades in construction.

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The premise is simple: we pay £50 per week towards their wages for the first year, the only condition being continued attendance at a local college. It couldn’t be any less complicated. Small employers like the scheme because it is easy to use – unlike national apprenticeship programmes – and removes the financial burden of taking on new recruits.

To date, more than 260 young people have benefited, including some who have gone on to set up their own companies.

The sponsorship scheme is the flagship initiative in our new Hudson Foundation, which unites our efforts to create opportunities for young people to learn trade skills, develop self-confidence through sports and the performing arts, and get a good start in life.

Additionally, the initiative supports families in need and provides a voice for self-employment in construction.

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It has been described by Justine Greening, the former education secretary and a prominent social mobility campaigner, as “a fantastic forward step” that brings together Hudson’s philanthropic activities in a more strategic way.

I am delighted that Justine will be joining us as keynote speaker at the apprenticeship awards ceremony at the MKM Stadium in Hull on September 19.

If anyone has any doubt about the benefits of an apprenticeship, I would share the comments of a young apprentice bricklayer in Bridlington.

He told me: “I get paid to learn – how good is that?” This enterprising young man is equipping himself with skills for life and planning to start his own brickwork company. An apprenticeship truly has double value: it gives you the chance to learn a trade and run a business. Who needs university?

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The East Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards takes place on September 19, held at MKM Stadium, Hull. Register now and submit your nomination by visiting before the closing date of 6pm on July 17th.

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