Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds visited a popular NHBC-insured Barnsley development and heard first–hand how beneficial apprenticeships are within the building sector.
Ms Reynolds, accompanied by Michael Dugher, Labour MP for Barnsley East and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, received a thorough understanding of the construction process at the Persimmon Homes Wentworth Grange development before meeting some of the housebuilder’s apprentices.
The Wentworth Grange development, which is built on a former bus depot site, has been well received since its launch in January 2012. The development features 145 three and four bedroom family homes and is nearing completion with few plots remaining.
One apprentice who met Ms Reynolds and Mr Dugher was Harrison Tucker, who is currently in his second year of a carpentry and joinery apprenticeship with Persimmon Homes.
The 17-year-old from South Elmsall has worked at a range of Persimmon’s West Yorkshire sites, including the Wentworth Grange development, to help strengthen his understanding of the industry and develop his skills.
Harrison’s commitment and hard work was recently recognised by Persimmon after he represented the West Yorkshire region in the housebuilder’s inaugural National Young Achievers Award Scheme.
“I’m really enjoying my job and feel lucky that I have been given this opportunity with Persimmon. Some of my friends have struggled to get jobs and others are studying full time and are likely to have student loans at the end. I am learning a skill that I can use all my life as well as getting a salary. For me it was the best way forward.”
Wayne Gradwell, Managing Director at Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, who hosted the tour, said:
“We were delighted to welcome Ms Reynolds and Mr Dugher to Wentworth Grange and to introduce them to some of our apprentices and trainees.”
““We manage a robust apprenticeship programme, taking on over 120 young people nationally with approximately five of these in the West Yorkshire region.”
“Harrison is a fine example of how the Persimmon’s apprenticeship programme can inspire and create careers for youngsters in the region.”
The event was organised by NHBC, the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK, and Persimmon to show the Labour MPs a prime example of a high quality housing development and the positive impact it can have on developing future careers.
Geoff Egginton, NHBC Regional Director said: “As the UK’s leading insurance and warranty provider of new homes, NHBC works closely with housebuilders like Persimmon to support the delivery of high quality homes. We also work with Parliamentarians to develop and promote good housing policy so are delighted to have welcomed both Emma and Michael to this prime site at Wentworth Grange.”
Emma Reynolds MP for Wolverhampton North East and Shadow Housing Minister, said:
“I was delighted to visit the Wentworth Grange development in Barnsley with Michael to see for myself the impressive work being doing to increase the supply of housing at the same time as supporting apprenticeships.”
“Across the country we are not even building half the number of homes we need to keep up with demand. Labour will get the homes we need built by nearly doubling house building to 200,000 homes a year by 2020.”
“By building more homes we will ensure that once again the next generation can secure a decent home of their own. It will also provide a big boost to the economy in terms of growth, jobs and apprenticeships in Barnsley and across the country.”
Michael Dugher MP for Barnsley East and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport added:
“It was great to visit this new housing development today and meet some of the award winning apprentices. It is important that the housing and construction schemes of this kind offer employment opportunities for all in our community”
For more information on the Persimmon Homes developments close to you visit www.persimmonhomes.com.