With national apprenticeship week around the corner (7th – 13th February) Persimmon Homes is currently focusing on its apprenticeships, training and development throughout England, Scotland and Wales. In line with this, the North East, Durham and Teesside businesses are striving to create the best opportunities possible for the region’s programme. This initiative is bearing fruit for the housebuilder, having taken on 23 new apprentices across NE, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, Teesside and Hartlepool in recent months.
Michael Johnson, Persimmon Homes’ apprenticeship manager, who has previously worked as a quality advisor for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), explains:
“This is part of our current drive to recruit and nurture new, quality talent to provide opportunities for young people in the region seeking an interesting and rewarding career, while at the same time future proofing the skills pipeline we need for our business.
There is much talk at the moment about the skills shortage in construction with a lot of companies struggling to find the calibre of personnel they need. Our philosophy has been to establish a scheme and working environment that will not only attract the people we need, but will also encourage them to remain with us and build their career for the long term.”
The company offers a range of apprenticeships specialising in several key skills including joinery, technical and design, to name but a few.
One success story is that of Cameron Robinson-Wilson who has recently started his degree course while continuing to work for the company. He joined Persimmon Homes in 2019 as a trainee design technician and so far has gained a L3 Diploma in Civil Engineering for Technicians and L3 BTEC Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment.
“The best thing about taking up an apprenticeship is that I have been learning and gaining qualifications while at the same time earning money. The scheme provides the opportunity for real work life practical experience to build a career, rather than going down the university route and ending up in three years’ time saddled with debt.
It is, of course, hard studying and working at the same time, but it does give a real sense of achievement and is setting me up for a real future in construction. I’d recommend any young person who is looking for a challenging and rewarding career to look into taking up an apprenticeship scheme like this.”
Chris Curry is regional managing director for North East, Durham and Teesside and this year he will celebrate his 30 year anniversary with Persimmon Homes having started out as an apprentice joiner. He said:
“Like in many industries and sectors today, times are challenging in terms of the availability of quality, skilled labour. At Persimmon Homes we are passionate about providing opportunities for young people and bringing new talent into the business through our apprenticeship scheme. Our aim is to attract young men and women who possess a strong sense of drive and determination to succeed and we are currently expanding our apprenticeship scheme intake to facilitate this.
We believe no other housebuilder is adopting this approach and our aim is to make Persimmon Homes the ‘go to’ employer in construction and do what we can for the future of our company and that of our industry.”