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Midlands housing developer builds workforce with new trainees

Expanding Midlands partnership homes developer Lovell has further boosted its workforce by taking on three new apprentices and a management trainee.

Developing and extending its workforce will always be a priority for the Quinton-based company, explains Lovell’s regional training advisor Kelly Truman:

“Taking on new apprentices and trainees and helping them develop their careers means we create and retain the expert teams we need and protect ourselves from construction skills shortages which continue to be a major concern for our industry, particularly with Brexit looming. It’s also an important way in which we invest in and benefit the wider community in the areas where we build, helping local people gain nationally-recognised qualifications and equipping them for long-term successful careers.”

Lovell – which employs more than 200 across the Midlands – is responsible for some of the region’s most prominent, land-led homes schemes.

Among the company’s latest recruits is 20-year-old Sam Woodhouse, from Walsall, who has just joined Lovell’s management trainee programme. He will spend the next two years gaining experience through placements in the company’s different departments before choosing in which area he would like to specialise. With funding support from Lovell, Sam is studying on day release for a Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Management and Built Environment at the University of Wolverhampton. Having previously worked in construction as a trainee estimator, Sam applied to Lovell specifically to broaden his knowledge of the industry.

He says: “I wanted the wide-ranging experience that joining Lovell’s management trainee programme is giving me. Being able to gain experience in all departments of the company was what attracted me: most construction firms don’t enable you to gain that type of all-round knowledge of their business so this is a great opportunity. Housebuilding is an exciting place to work, things are changing all the time and there’s always something new to learn.”

Other new recruits include apprentice bricklayer 19-year-old Hristo Ganev, from Wolverhampton, who is based on a new-build homes scheme at Snedshill, Telford.

As a Lovell apprentice, Hristo is able to earn as he learns his trade, with Lovell providing him with tools as well as funding his apprenticeship, including paying college fees.

“I couldn’t be happier, it’s going really well,” says the teenager. “Previously I was working as a maintenance operative but I didn’t feel I was making progress. I like to learn by doing, so this is a really good way for me to develop my skills. In the future, I would like to move into project management.” As well as working on site, Hristo attends Stourbridge College on a day release basis as he works towards his NVQ Level 2 qualification in Trowel Occupations.

Nineteen-year-old Jamie Welsh from Cannock,also joined Lovell as an apprentice earlier this year and is learning his trade as a carpenter. “Having studied at college for NVQ Level 1 qualifications I wanted to join a business able to give me the on-site industry experience I need to complete my NVQ Level 2 and 3 awards,” he says. “I’m really pleased to be working with Lovell. The size of the company means I’ll have opportunities to work on a variety of schemes that wouldn’t be available to me with a smaller firm. I like the fact that every day is different and you’re not just in one place all the time.”