Reinforcing the company’s intent to bring on new talent and teach them the skills necessary to help the UK build the new homes it needs, Barratt Homes West Midlands has taken on four more new apprentices to work on their sites in the region.
Helen Ward Thorpe and Ryan McNally have joined the firm as apprentice carpenters, and Joe Rowley and Dan Edwards have taken on positions as apprentice bricklayers, with all of them now combining on-site work with part-time study at local colleges.
With two years of furniture craft experience from Leamington Spa College already under her belt, 22-year-old Helen is the eldest of the new starters. Now based at Barratt’s Oak Hill Mews development in Wednesbury, she says: “I’ve always enjoyed woodwork and after learning how to make tables and cabinets at college I decided to apply to Barratt Homes, as it seems like a firm where I can put my skills to use and perhaps even progress within the company.”
At the same site, 18-year-old Joe, who comes from Wolverhampton, has already completed his Level 1 NVQ in bricklaying and is pursuing a career with a family connection. He says: “My grandad was a brickie, so it’s a trade I’ve always been interested in. I know that there’s a shortage of qualified bricklayers so the skills I’m learning are in demand. I did my research on Barratt and I think it will be a good firm to work for.”
The two youngest apprentices, both 16-years-old, will be working at The Limes in Cannock, Staffordshire. Ryan joins the housebuilder from Chase House Technical College and also has a family link to a career in skilled trade: “My stepdad is a plasterer and makes his living renovating old houses,and over the last few years I’ve been helping him out while also learning woodwork at college. He encouraged me to get on board with Barratt because he knows the company has a great reputation within the industry.”
Wolverhampton-based Dan says: “I’m the first person in my family to get involved in construction, but I did a course on it at school and did pretty well, so I think I’ve made a good choice, especially by joining Barratt, one of the biggest names in the business.”
Senior site manager Stuart Stokes, Barratt Homes’ ‘apprentice champion’ for the region and with 16 years experience at the company, is the man mentoring these new recruits. He says: “I myself started working as an apprentice, and I can say with certainty that it’s a great way into a successful career. I’ll be liaising with our new starters’ colleges and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to ensure they get the most out of their courses and get the best start in their chosen trades.”