Housebuilder urges tradespeople to pick up tools to help build Britain

Persimmon Homes is launching a recruitment drive to find tradespeople across its 24 businesses as it gears up to build more homes across the UK.

The housebuilder is looking for subcontractors, labour only subcontractors and direct employees to help the business meet demand from home buyers.

Since April this year, the business has already taken on 286 trade and apprentice direct employees and this latest campaign is aimed at getting people who may have left the industry or who are looking for a new career to get in touch.

As part of its campaign, Persimmon has undertaken research looking at the perceptions of tradespeople among the UK public. Richard Latham, the company’s HR director, says that although enlightening, the responses do not paint a totally true picture of working in a trade in 2013. He says:

“Our research shows that 78% of people in the UK view the work of tradesmen as skilled, which is extremely positive, but worryingly, 70% don’t feel the job is rewarding and 82% don’t feel it has a competitive salary. In our experience, this is extremely wide of the mark.”

Richard believes that more worrying is the view of 48% of people who feel that the negative stereotypes surrounding tradesmen stop young people from pursuing a career in the industry.

“Our apprentice campaign is extremely popular and we will soon be kicking off our search for over 100 more young people to join us in 2014. We see young people as the future of our business and we invest both time and money in one of the best training programmes in the industry. Many of our senior personnel, including our current chief executive, Jeff Fairburn, started in the industry as an apprentice.”

Richard believes wrong perceptions are particularly obstructive as a significant percentage of people across the UK feel the strain of poor job opportunities in their local areas.

“Our research found that the majority of people in London (67%), the South East (65%) and West Midlands (62%) think that there are limited jobs available to them, whilst 54% of the North East and 40% of Scots admit that it is extremely hard to find jobs in their local area.

“Our campaign is seeking out brick layers, carpenters, ground workers and plumbers to work across our 24 businesses in England, Scotland and Wales.”

Persimmon particularly wants to hear from young people wishing to pursue an apprenticeship in 2014, people who may have left the industry back in 2008 at the start of the financial crisis and skilled ex-service people who may have transferable skills.

Steve Roche, Persimmon’s group communications director says the increase in demand for new homes is fuelling the search for new construction and building industry recruits across the UK. He says:

“Demand for new homes is definitely on the up, partly thanks to the Government-led purchase schemes, such as Help to Buy, and also due to the general improvement in the economy.”

To find out about jobs in your area, visit