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Persimmon Homes

Persimmon helps forge the next generation of construction workers in South Wales

17 May 2021

Persimmon Homes is continuing to help the next generation of construction workers by extending its apprenticeships in conjunction with Bridgend College.

Persimmon Homes West Wales has forged a successful relationship with the college over the last three-and-a-half years by taking its best full-time bricklaying and carpentry students and giving them full-time jobs on site as ‘improvers’, while working towards further qualifications.

Since 2017 Persimmon West Wales has taken on 85 bricklayers and carpenters, 45 of which are still directly employed by Persimmon.

The relationship has now been solidified by Persimmon offering formal apprenticeships.

Under the apprenticeship, the students will hone their skills on Persimmon sites while still spending important time in the classroom at Bridgend College.

They will finish their apprenticeship with an NVQ and will earn money while they train.

Carl Davey, construction director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “The relationship with Bridgend College has really flourished and is of huge benefit for both parties and, most importantly, the students."

“The young people we have taken on from the college have had a fantastic attitude and have produced exceptionally good work."

“They work mostly under our apprentice masters and are given the time they need to learn the required skills to a high standard."

“The NHBC recently carried out a Construction Quality review at one of our sites and they commented on the quality of the property built by solely by our improvers, which was a huge confidence boost for them and shows what they are capable of."

“This apprenticeship scheme will further support the students in improving their skills and qualifications with a mixture of on-site and classroom work.”

Paul Curry, group training manager at Persimmon Homes, said the link-up with the college was offering young people a viable route into a lucrative construction career.

“There are thousands of young people on full time construction courses in the UK but they struggle to find employment afterwards as they don’t have experience on site,” said Paul.

“Our work with Bridgend College, through the improver programme and now bridging to a formal apprenticeship, is really helping to raise aspirations in an area which has seen high job losses in recent years."

“The college has reported an improvement in attendance and attainment as students can see a clear route into employment after their course.”

Robert Clover, lecturer at Bridgend College, said: “The opportunity that Persimmon Homes has offered our learners has been fantastic. The learners can see a clear employment opportunity once they have gained their qualification. There is also the prospect of furthering their education and career, as some of our Level 3 Persimmon Homes apprentices are now trainee Site Managers."

“Although the opportunity has been aimed towards our younger learners, we also have more mature learners who are now employed by Persimmon Homes West Wales after progressing through our Engage Training evening courses. These learners have either decided they'd like a change of career, or they've been made redundant - in difficult times this has offered stability to them and their families."

“Persimmon Homes has provided Bridgend College's construction department with valuable resources and materials to help our learners improve their skills - some of these wouldn’t be available to our learners unless they were in the workplace."

“It’s great to have such a successful partnership with Persimmon Homes and to give our learners the opportunity to gain a qualification and paid, full-time employment."

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