For example, the company has doubled its turnover in East Anglia over the past year, and has a current team of seven apprentices across the region.
At the head of the East Anglia division is regional managing director Simon Medler, who himself started working in the industry as an apprentice carpenter. He says: “Apprenticeships are a key way in which we give back to communities and create opportunities for local people. But as a business with ambitious plans for continuing growth, we also recognise that nurturing apprentices and other trainees is essential to support those ambitions.
“Investment in training ensures we have the skilled workforce needed to work on our growing portfolio of high-quality homes developments across East Anglia and keep delivering for our customers and clients.
“We work hard to support our apprentices, providing them with opportunities to keep developing their careers with us, and helping many move into management roles so we retain their expertise. That’s reflected in the high number of former apprentices still working in the business, including a number of our senior management team.”
Among the current apprenticeship team are three who are working in the construction team at the company’s Firs Park development in the popular Norwich suburb of Hellesdon. One of that group is trainee carpenter 18-year-old Myles Tuddenham from Dereham who is studying for his NVQ Level 2 qualification on day release at City College Norwich.
He says: “As an apprentice with Lovell, I benefit from the support of the company’s well-established training programme. The apprenticeship means I earn a wage, while also having the opportunity to gain nationally-recognised qualifications and build up my practical experience working alongside experienced colleagues on site.”
In London, the company has recently welcomed eight graduates to the world of construction to train as apprentice site managers in a two-year programme. Among them are two women who are challenging the stereotype that construction is a male-dominated career choice.
Giusy Adekunbi is looking forward to putting her Construction Project Management degree from Aston University into practice. The 21-year-old says: “I’ve got a strong interest in design and building construction, especially regeneration, so I’m keen to understand more about the different stages of a development.”
Also on board is Eniola Olaribigbe, 22, an architecture graduate from De Montfort University. She says: “Being a woman on a construction site is still relatively unusual and there’s a learning curve in making sure your voice is heard, but it hasn’t taken long to become one of the team. The workload is very diverse, no two days are the same. It’s a great job and very satisfying creating new homes.”
Giusy and Eniola are learning the practical skills needed to manage a development and spend most of their time on site working with construction teams at Trinity Walk, a flagship scheme of nearly 1,700 new homes in Woolwich, south-east London.
Mike Maxwell, operations director at Lovell, says of the company’s approach to recruitment: “Lovell is committed to diversity and recruiting bright, motivated graduates with the potential to become the future leaders of its business and offers opportunities in specific areas, such as site management and quantity surveying.”
Come to listen and talk about housebuilding careers – apprenticeship, diversity, training and leadership – at our New Homes Debate in London on Thursday 15 March 2018.