Persimmon Homes

South West region donates 10,000 bricks to Exeter College to support next generation of construction workers

23 March 2023

South West region has cemented its relationship with the next generation of construction professionals at Exeter College, thanks to a substantial donation of 10,000 bricks for education and training purposes.

The special delivery from South West region was marked with an event at the College’s state-of-the-art construction facilities in the company of local apprentices and the leader of Exeter City Council, Cllr Phil Bialyk.

The bricks, enough to build a three-bedroom house, will be used by students at Exeter, and forms part of Persimmon’s commitment to develop the next generation of local construction workers in Devon.

South West region currently has ten local apprentices attending the College and the donation will give all students on the course at Exeter the opportunity to further enhance their bricklaying skills.

Commenting on the donation, Dave O'Connor, Head of Faculty Construction and the Built Environment at Exeter College, said:

“On behalf of Exeter College, I would like to offer our sincere thanks to Persimmon Homes for its generous donation of 10,000 bricks, which will support the learning and development of our apprentices and students.

“The bricks will provide students with further opportunities to hone their skills in our state-of-the-art, industry-standard construction facilities, and ensure we continue to deliver a first-class learning experience.

“Our partnership with Persimmon goes from strength to strength as the College continues to develop a quality supply of talent for a multitude of partners across Devon’s construction industry.”

The brick donation comes as South West region recently joined forces with the Building Greater Exeter initiative.

This public and private sector employability and skills programme supports the built environment to shape the future workforce by inspiring new candidates, supporting employers and promoting a culture that makes it a great place to work across Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge.

Welcoming the donation and burgeoning partnership with the College, Persimmon South West’s Construction Director, Harlan Bevis, said:

“Exeter College is an outstanding teaching college with superb facilities for students looking to embark on a career in construction.

“The demand for new housing for local people in Exeter and right across Devon is well known, and as a local business it’s vital we support local construction students to maintain and develop a talented and diverse workforce.

“Persimmon is proud of our record developing the next generation of construction workers here in the South West, and we believe our partnership with Exeter College and Building Greater Exeter will further promote the many exciting careers the industry has to offer.

“We want local workers building homes for local people in Devon, and if we can develop our local apprentice pipeline and talent at Persimmon, we believe our ability to meet the local housing demand will only go from strength to strength.”

Over the past five years, Persimmon South West has built over 2,500 new homes in the region, creating and supporting over 12,000 jobs in construction and the various supply chains.

The company’s housing footprint has delivered around £14m worth of benefit to communities and local authorities in the region through new council tax receipts, section 106 and community infrastructure levy contributions.

The Leader of Exeter Council also attended Monday’s event where he got to see first-hand the partnership which has been established between the housebuilder and the College.

Councillor Phil Bialyk, Leader of Exeter City Council, said:

“I very much enjoyed my visit to Exeter College’s excellent construction training site at Sowton and see this fantastic facility. I was very impressed by what I saw.

“It was great to see the number of young people engaged in apprenticeships. Construction is so important, and those skills are very much need locally.

“I applaud the work that Exeter College is doing in training our young people and equipping them with skills for the future.”

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At Persimmon we're proud to support our local communities. Our Community Champions programme was established in 2015 and has already donated more than £3 million to over 3,500 good causes across Great Britain. We also have a programme of community events taking place as part of our partnership with Team GB for the 2024 Paris Olympics, along with other great initiatives. 


Our hugely successful Community Champions programme has already donated more than £1 million to good causes in England, Wales and Scotland. Whilst the programme is running, each of our regional offices makes a donation of up to £6,000 every quarter to local organisations.

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