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DWH David Wilson Homes site in Winnington Avenue, Northwich, CHESHIRE. Jack Kelly from Newton-le-willows he has won apprentice of the year, and behind is new apprentice Joe Hands from Warrington
DWH David Wilson Homes site in Winnington Avenue, Northwich, CHESHIRE. Jack Kelly from Newton-le-willows he has won apprentice of the year, and behind is new apprentice Joe Hands from Warrington


Leading housebuilder, David Wilson Homes (DWH) North West has this month welcomed four new construction apprentices to its North West sites, as part of an ambitious drive to boost numbers of skilled tradespeople. On-site training will take place at locations across the region, including its Winnington Village site in Northwich.

The Winnington site has recently bagged a top gong for one of its third year apprentices, 18 year old bricklayer, Jack Kelly – who has just won the prestigious title of “Apprentice of the Year” at DWH. The award is in recognition of his outstanding skills and commitment on site.

Jack, who spends four days on site in Winnington and one day at college, knew he wanted to pursue his interest in the building industry from an early age. His favourite GCSE subject had been Construction, so when the opportunity arose to work as an apprentice bricklayer for five star house builder, DWH, Jack leapt at the opportunity. Following an online aptitude test and face to face to face interview at DWH’s head office in Warrington, Jack landed his dream opportunity – and just two years into his apprenticeship -has scooped the prestigious title of “Apprentice of the Year.”

“When I graduate with my NVQ 3 in Advanced Bricklaying, I hope to go on to train as an Assistant Site Manager – a career I know will set me up well for the future.

“Unlike many students, I’m being paid as I learn, whilst receiving expert training – it’s a fantastic opportunity. Seeing a building being constructed from scratch is really rewarding, and working alongside such an experienced and highly skilled team, I know I’m learning from the best.

Barratt Developments (incorporating DWH) Regional Managing Director, Bernard Rooney, said: “Jack’s ability and positive attitude has shone through since day one and we’re delighted to be able to recognise his success within the organisation. He’s undoubtedly got a great future ahead of him in this industry, which is growing rapidly and offers excellent long-term career opportunities and rewards for skilled people.

“We’re proud of the calibre of our trainee apprentices, who look to us to provide them with the very best skills in the industry. Our mentoring and training system is second to none, and for those who work hard – the rewards can ultimately be very high.

Working alongside Jack at Winnington Village, is Joe Hands, 17, who has joined DWH as a trainee joiner.

DWH, which is part of the Barratt Development group, boasts an award winning graduate programme, Barratt Academy – second only to Microsoft’s in the UK – which offers programmes for apprentices and trainees to create the very best skills learning environment.

The Group has recently been shortlisted as one of the top 50 apprenticeship employers, in the run up to the national Apprenticeship Careers Show.

Nationally, the housebuilder already ranks in The City & Guilds top 100 apprentice employers in England, and has once again been awarded the maximum 5 star rating for six years in a row. It has also won a total of 90 NHBC Pride in the Job Awards – the 10th year it has scooped more than any other housebuilder.

As well as employing local people in a wide spectrum of jobs including bricklaying, joinery, carpentry and site management, Barratt’s strategy is to only work with subcontractors who are committed to long term investment in the industry. This provides long-term career stability for both employees and employers, a move aimed at helping to promote a career in construction as a “job for life.”

“We’re extremely proud of our apprenticeship programmes,” said Rooney, “which offer the very highest level of training available in the construction industry. Our graduates leave with the crucial skills and confidence they need to carve out a successful career, and indeed many go on to become long-standing Barratt employees.

“Building more homes to address the shortage of housing in the UK is high on the political agenda, and if we are to keep up with demand, we urgently need to attract more people into the industry. Here in the North West, there are lots of exciting opportunities up for grabs for talented young people who want to forge their career in the building sector.

“There are so many great reasons to employ apprentices. Not only are they essential to ensure a skilled workforce for the future and an integral part of our sustainability agenda, but they also bring fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm to our workforce.”

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