As young people across the UK receive their A-Level results today and find out whether they have done enough to secure a place at university, Redrow is preparing to welcome its latest intake of more than 80 trade apprentices. The new cohort means that 15% of the leading housebuilder’s workforce will be enrolled on a structured training programme such as an apprenticeship or graduate scheme. By September this year there will be almost 300 people in apprenticeship roles across the company in trade, administration, technical and commercial roles.
The latest cohort of 81 trade apprentices will be enrolled on traditional programmes such as bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing and electrical, as well as painting and decorating, groundworks, ceramic tiling, scaffolding and buildings maintenance.
Redrow saw more than 300 apprentices enrol on its trade-specific scheme between 2015 and 2018 alone. This includes Bailey Holland-Knightly, a 17-year-old female apprentice at Redrow’s Padcroft development in West Drayton, London, who is 11 months away from being a qualified painter and decorator.
“Whilst at school, I was told by my teachers that I wouldn’t pass any of my exams and my career prospects were limited. It was only once I left school and started attending my local study centre that they introduced me to apprenticeship opportunities in painting and decorating at Redrow”, comments Bailey.
“My mum is a painter and decorator and I’d often join her on jobs when I was younger, so I already had a taste of what it entailed and so I was thrilled when Redrow accepted me on to their apprenticeship programme.”
Bailey joined as an apprentice at 16 and attends college classes once a week as part of her NVQ Level 2 qualification. During the rest of the working week, Bailey benefits from on-the-job training at Padcroft, where Redrow are providing one, two and three bedroom apartments. Over the last 13 months Bailey has also been given the opportunity to resit her Maths and English GCSEs. Despite claims from her school that she would never pass an exam Bailey already has her GCSE in Maths and is now studying for her English GCSE.
Bailey adds: “A lot of my friends decided to go to university, but full-time study has never appealed to me. Not only do I now feel in a far more financially stable position than many of my friends who have graduated with lots of debt, but I also love my job. I enjoy being hands on and creative and I honestly can’t wait to get up each morning to come to work.”
Bailey earns £6.50 per hour through her apprenticeship with Redrow, which is almost double the national minimum wage for apprentices. Last year, Bailey was also awarded £100 towards her toolkit for receiving the best review for the new intake. Her winnings have funded her trademark pink overalls, which she regularly wears to college and on site.
Redrow’s latest apprenticeship report1 canvassed 2,000 16 to 21 year olds to understand their attitudes towards apprenticeships. When asked to select which financial implications they associate with doing an apprenticeship 65% said ‘earning money while studying and not incurring student debt’, while another 41% said they associate it with providing ‘greater financial independence at an earlier age than continuing to study full-time’.
The housebuilder’s research also found that unfortunately more than four in 10 (42%) young adults said that a career in construction had never been discussed with them by a teacher or careers advisor, while only 8% of apprentices at Redrow were encouraged to enrol on an apprenticeship through school careers advice.
With many graduates leaving university having incurred costs of around £44,0002, apprenticeships are considered by many as a much more viable option – allowing young people to kick-start their career from the age of 16, gain qualifications and earn a good wage whilst doing so.
Karen Jones, the group HR director at housebuilder Redrow, said:
“Apprentices are a vital component for ensuring the success of our economy, which is why we are committed to investing in the next generation of construction industry talent.
“The apprentices of today could go on to become the business leaders of the future but for that to happen the construction industry must have greater collaboration with government and schools to ensure young people are receiving the best possible advice and support to appropriately kick-start their careers. It is clear from Bailey’s experience that there is still a lot more that needs to be done in educating schools on all career options available.”
Each apprentice on Redrow’s scheme benefits from paid, on-the-job training and work experience combined with college-based study that will provide them with essential industry qualifications.
To find out more about the apprenticeship schemes available at Redrow, visit our careers page: https://www.redrowcareers.co.uk/apprenticeships-graduates-work-experience/apprentices/