Minister meets East Lothian apprentices building careers in construction

17 November 2023

Housing Minister and local MSP Paul McLennan visits Persimmon’s Earls development at Blindwells.

East Scotland region welcomed Housing Minister Paul McLennan MSP to The Earls development in East Lothian this week, where he was given an update on the site’s progress and met with some of the young workers starting out their career in the construction industry.

The Earls, which is delivering 197 energy-efficient new homes, is part of the Blindwells masterplan which will ultimately deliver more than 1,600 homes in East Lothian. The project will generate more than £40m in community investment – supporting a new school and sports pitches, as well as new roads and transport links.

Persimmon’s Earls development will also see 30 of the new homes transferred to a housing association to help local people in housing need.

Mr McLennan was given a tour of the site, where he met with the local team and heard about Persimmon’s apprenticeship programme – which recently reached a record number of 45 bricklaying, joinery, roofing and painting and decorating modern apprentices across Scotland.

The local apprentices included school leavers and college students, as well as experienced employees such as Robert Wilson, who has recently begun an apprenticeship to upskill. Robert, who lives locally, told the Minister about his journey with Persimmon, which began over 20 years ago and has now seen him start a new path to becoming a bricklayer.

Housing Minister Paul McLennan said:

“Living in a warm and safe home is critical to wellbeing and is a right everyone deserves. Persimmon Homes play a valuable role in increasing the range of housing available throughout Scotland, and I was delighted to visit these homes in the Blindwells development.

“High quality housing is a key pillar of Housing to 2040, whilst also eradicating fuel poverty and homelessness and ensuring everyone has access to green space and essential services. Persimmon Homes play a key role in building high-quality homes and I welcome these new houses, which will include 30 for social rent supported by a Scottish Government Affordable Housing Supply Programme grant.”

Neil Parry, East Scotland region Managing Director, said:

“I was delighted to welcome the Minister to our Blindwells development and show him the progress that’s being made in creating more affordable routes to home ownership for families in East Lothian.

“With the average price of our homes 16% below the average price of a new build in Scotland, we’re proud to be supporting more first-time buyers onto the property ladder.

“We’re also keen to ensure our developments create real opportunities for local people. Our apprenticeship programme is a big part of that and from school leavers to experienced employees upskilling, we’re delighted to have hit a record number of apprentices in Scotland this year.”

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