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Persimmon Homes

John builds new career taking on apprentice role aged 26

12 February 2021

Apprentice bricklayer John Roberts has turned tables on his career and abandoned the hospitality industry to build a new career at the age of 26.

To mark National Apprentice Week John, from St Austell, Cornwall, explains how he came to begin a two-year apprenticeship with Persimmon Homes in September 2019.

“I had been in hospitality for nearly a decade, but the work just wasn’t rewarding. There was no progression and never any challenges,” he said.

“I was looking for something new and took some careers advice at my local college where I discovered that even at my age I could join an apprenticeship. I signed up to construction and then the opportunity came up with Persimmon Homes.”

“This job has put fire back in my belly and it is so satisfying to come home after a day of work knowing that you have created something and have earned a good living with hard work.”

He added: “As it turns out I was lucky to leave hospitality just months before Covid struck the industry, but I haven’t looked back and I am developing new skills in one of the best trades.”

Eddie Kenyon, another Cornwall apprentice, is hoping to develop his career with Persimmon to help meet his wanderlust.

The 21-year-old is in year two of a carpentry apprenticeship and has the promise of a two-year contract when it is completed. Eddie hopes this will allow him to work elsewhere in the country, but still with Persimmon.

“I studied product design at A-level and for a year at university, but realised it wasn’t the path for me,” said Eddie.

“I wanted to learn how to make things out of wood and enjoyed the physical work, so I dropped out and followed the apprenticeship route instead.”

“When I finish I have two years work and that means I will add to my experience and skills. I would like to carry on with Persimmon, it is a good trade and good pay, and I hope that I will be able to move to different sites, not just in Cornwall.”

Adam Church, managing director for Persimmon Homes Cornwall, said: “Each year we employ a number of apprentices in various roles as we believe it’s important, for both the business and the construction industry, to be supporting and developing our future workforce.”

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