Persimmon Homes

Persimmon and Cumbria colleges cement relationship with donations of 10,000 bricks

16 June 2022

Lakes College in Workington and Carlisle College each received 10,000 bricks to support the training and assessment of the next generation of construction professionals.

The bricks, enough to build a large three-bedroom house, will be used by students and apprentices for developing the skills needed for a successful career in construction as the industry seeks to attract a new generation of workers to complete much-needed housing projects.

Building a more diverse workforce is vital for the construction sector and earlier this year Persimmon launched their Target 50 initiative to recruit an additional 50 female apprentices or technical trainees in construction facing roles this year.


Sarah McGrath, Principal, Carlisle College, John Stevenson MP, John Roocroft, Regional Managing Director Persimmon Homes and Scott Nixon, Persimmon apprentice


Carlisle College Principal Sarah McGrath welcomed the special delivery last week in the company of John Stevenson MP, some of the college’s construction apprentices and representatives of Persimmon Homes.  

She said: “We are extremely grateful for the generous donation and support shown by Persimmon Homes. This visit has provided a great opportunity to discuss training needs and how we can work together to meet the demand of local workforces whilst training the next generation of construction workers.”

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle said: “I am delighted to be here to see how this donation will support the practical aspects of the training of students in the construction industry. This will undoubtedly strengthen the relationship between employers and skills providers putting emphasis on the skills both valued by employers and needed for real jobs.”  


Chris Nattress, Principal, Lakes College, Cllr Mark Fryer and Geoff Brown, Construction Director for Persimmon Homes with representatives from Lakes College


Meanwhile Chris Nattress, Principal of Lakes College, received the donation in the company of Cllr Mark Fryer, Leader of the new Cumberland Council, representatives of Persimmon Homes and some of the college’s construction apprentices.

He said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Persimmon Homes and are thrilled with their very kind donation of bricks to support our construction students and apprentices. Partnerships with key employers in the construction industry are vital to the work we do in developing the diverse talent construction in Cumbria needs and generous donations such as this are an important part of helping develop the stars of the future.”

Cllr Mark Fryer, Leader of the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council said: “Lakes College have a fantastic history of turning our young people into the construction workforce of the future.  That future seems stronger than ever with the new developments on the civil side and partnerships with the private sector such as this.”

Mark Jenkinson, MP for Workington said: “It is great to see our education providers working with business. It is important that training providers are providing the skilled workforce that is required locally. This engagement with business will ensure that our local skills needs are met and our local economy is strengthened.”


Sarah McGrath, Principal, Carlisle College, John Stevenson MP, John Roocroft, Regional Managing Director Persimmon Homes and Franky Little, Persimmon apprentice


Of the two donations, John Roocroft, Regional Managing Director for Persimmon Homes Lancashire & Scotland added: “With the need for new housing well documented, we know how important it is to support construction students and help develop a diverse, talented workforce for the years ahead.

“We are particularly proud of our links to local colleges and helping young people across the region to develop the skills they need to pursue one of the many exciting careers that housebuilding has to offer.

“Attracting young people from all backgrounds is absolutely vital to make up for those retiring from the industry. That is why we continue to build upon the 400 plus apprentices and trainees we currently have across the group and launched our Target 50 initiative to take on another 50 female apprentices and technical trainees in construction-facing roles this year.”


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