Nottinghamshire MP Anna Soubry has visited an East Midlands new homes development to speak to a regional housebuilder about how it is meeting the skills shortage challenges for the industry, and to meet the company’s young trade apprentices.
The MP for Broxtowe visited Hanson’s View, a Fairgrove Homes development on the long-neglected site of the old Kimberley Brewery, where the conversion of some period properties into residential use is being complemented by new build homes.
Fairgrove has appointed six new apprentices to learn bricklaying and joinery, continuing the housebuilder’s recruitment policy that has also seen the recent arrival of an 18-year-old school leaver as a management trainee. This new recruit and an existing member of staff will be sponsored through a degree apprenticeship course at the University of Derby.
The company’s support of young talent saw one apprentice, Jordan Haywood, win the Apprentice of the Year title last year while studying at Webs Training College.
“It is a credit to Fairgrove Homes to be investing in the future so heavily and hiring apprentices within the building trade,” says Ms Soubry. “Meeting the skills shortage and continuing to build quality new homes is crucial in order to meet demand, and I am delighted to see Fairgrove Homes is tackling this issue head on.”
Steve Midgley, managing director for Fairgrove Homes and also a member of the board for the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, explains why the housebuilder has been moving away from an approach more linked to the services of subcontractors: “There is a national skills shortage within certain trades, and as a company we’re keen to develop trainee programmes in key areas with large shortfalls in order to create a skilled in-house workforce. For a small company this is a massive investment in training and the future, but we truly believe it is the way forward to set us apart in our industry.
“We want to build a team that is proud to produce the best quality new homes in the region and our aim is to train the next generation so that we continue these high standards for many years to come.”