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Construction skills are the lifeblood of the housebuilding industry and quality apprenticeship programmes are vital to ensure these skills remain a valuable asset.

Apprenticeships careers on firm foundations - by Paul Sweeney

With the need for new homes growing more acute, it is even more essential that we encourage and support the next generation of skilled tradesmen, starting with the industry’s apprentices.  As a responsible developer, Countryside is committed to helping young people develop their future careers, and over the years, we have employed hundreds of apprentices on our developments. We are proud to be able to provide all our apprentices with a great platform to learn and develop their trade skills, and help them build a solid foundation for their future roles in the house building sector.

We work closely with the Construction Industry Training Board, local colleges, and training providers, such as Denbre, to ensure the right level and quality of support and training, both in the classroom and on-site. Through our recent partnership with Denbre, we have provided valuable work experience to 28 apprentices, across eight of our regeneration developments in London and the South East. Ten of these apprenticeships have now completed, and 13 apprentices have secured jobs in the industry.

With the completion of five of these developments, we have been able to move the apprentices onto our other developments, so they can continue their training, and experience different working environments. Once all 28 apprentices have completed the programme, they will have benefited from over 900 weeks of training, qualifying them as bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and painter and decorators.

One apprentice who has now completed his qualification and secured his first job is 21-year-old Desmond Towner (pictured above), who worked at three of our sites, including Brook Valley Gardens in Chipping Barnet and Silver Point in Edmonton.

Now a qualified bricklayer, he is pleased with his career choice, commenting: “My career path was always going to be something practical, and hands-on, and after briefly trying motor mechanics and engineering, I moved onto construction and became interested in bricklaying. I have been working hard on site, and it’s been great to experience a range of challenges across the different sites - it kept me motivated.

“It’s not an easy job – it is a lot harder than it looks, but it’s definitely the right one for me. I find it quite satisfying to look at my work at the each day, week, and month, seeing what I have helped build, especially knowing that it will someone’s home, or an important part of the community infrastructure. I am thrilled to have secured a full-time job, and I am looking forward to a busy summer!”

Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to learn while they earn, gaining fantastic experience, securing valuable qualifications, and preparing them for their future careers. We would encourage other young people thinking about their careers to learn about the vast range of opportunities within the house building industry, particularly at a time when building standards are improving, and innovation of construction methods and sustainable performance are paramount.

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Paul Sweeney,
Director, Community and Customer Services,

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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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