Persimmon Homes


15 October 2021

A trainee bricklayer taking part in a Government pilot project to improve employability has been offered an apprenticeship with us.

We were the only national house builder to offer practical learning when Hartlepool College of Further Education became the first training provider in the country to offer the eight-week Bricklaying Training Standard course pioneered in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the British Association of Construction Heads (BACH) and the Department for Education (DFE).

New occupational traineeships were announced by the Government in February, with pilots in construction and rail this summer. Currently only 24 per cent of Further Education (FE) construction learners join the industry either in apprenticeships or jobs.

Bricklaying student Justin Barlow, 18, was identified by his tutors as a trainee likely to benefit from the eight-week practical placement that would allow him to develop his skills and knowledge on site. After impressing his mentor and managers at Persimmon Homes’ Norton Gardens development in Norton, Stockton on Tees, Justin was interviewed and offered an apprenticeship with the company.

Michael Johnson, regional apprentice master for Persimmon Homes, said: “We were pleased to be able to step up and offer this training opportunity to Hartlepool College’s students. I am passionate in my belief that young people need to be given every opportunity to develop their skills and trades. So few young people continue on from college into the construction industry when what they need is practical work experience where they can put their learning into practice.”

John Cartwright, head of the college’s school of construction and the built environment, said: “We are delighted to be the first provider in this pilot scheme to improve the employability of our students and excited that through our existing links with Persimmon Homes Teesside the company was uniquely placed to offer our students work placement and on-site training.”

Michael added: “Justin impressed his mentor with his attitude and approach on site and willingness to learn. Prior to starting with us Justin did not have any practical experience in bricklaying. Not only has he improved his trade skills, but he has learned how to work as part of a team on site and improved his communication skills. We were pleased to be able to offer him an apprenticeship and look forward to helping him progress even further.”

Justin added: “Having the option to work on a construction site was an excellent opportunity. It allowed me to see how the college learning is actually put in to practice and was invaluable in the way it taught me about fitting into a team.”

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