As the need for labour grows, a tree surgery and arboricultural business in Coventry is launching an academy to attract and teach fresh talent.
Beechwood Trees & Landscapers Ltd, headquartered on Brinklow Road, offers a range of services to clients in the public and private sectors, including tree surgery, site clearance, stump removal, and machinery hiring.
Beechwood saw a huge surge in demand for its services once the pandemic ended, and new environmental technologies have helped to boost company revenue even further.
Because of the success, Managing Director Simon Rotheram, who launched the company in 1998, said he will be able to hire up to 10 new employees, but finding and keeping them will be difficult.
“Like many other businesses, we found it difficult during the pandemic,” he remarked. We used to send our personnel on site in three-person teams, but due to regulations, we were only able to send one person each car, which significantly raised our costs.
“However, as limits were eased and projects were free to move forward at a faster pace, demand surged.” By September, we had jobs lined up until the end of the year.
“We’re in a fantastic situation, but we’re constrained by the number of employees we have on staff. And, as is the case in many other businesses, finding talent is challenging. Some people want to work for themselves, while others begin and find the labour to be too physically hard.
“One of our ideas was to develop an academy for those who want to work in our field. We’d provide excellent training and a clear career path for new employees so they can see where they can go if they stick with us.
“In the end, we want Beechwood to be a very appealing location to work.” It’s not easy work, but we want to show that if you can handle the physical aspects, it can be a terrific profession with great perks.”
Tom Mongan, president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and Hazel Pilling, the Chamber’s Membership Manager, paid Simon a visit on site. They listened to Simon’s concerns about recruiting new employees as well as the company’s desire to go green.
Beechwood, for example, has lately begun utilising a new woodchipper that turns waste wood from construction sites into fine biomass for fuel, which it can then sell to other companies.
It’s now a big part of their business, and Simon said he wanted to be proactive about it because many clients are looking for green contractors throughout the tendering process.
“Visiting Simon at Beechwood and hearing about job shortages impeding the expansion of what is a highly successful business was really interesting,” Tom stated.
“Beechwood’s post-pandemic achievements and forward-thinking approach to green concerns show it has a lot of potential, but getting the right people has proven to be a challenge.”
“We reminded him about the FinditinCW portal, which allows businesses in our region to advertise their services and locate new suppliers, as well as the government’s Kickstart programme, which places 18 to 24-year-olds in jobs, as first steps in recruiting new employees.”
“As a Chamber, we’re here to help businesses like Beechwood connect with the appropriate people and provide them the tools they need to solve problems, and we wish them the best of luck with their academy and future expansion.”