Redrow helps young people build a bright future during National Apprenticeship Week

Award-winning housebuilder Redrow has pledged to help young people shape their future during National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from March 11 – 15.

Launching its annual apprentice recruitment drive, Redrow will give 20 new young apprentices across England and Wales the opportunity to learn skills such as joinery, bricklaying and plumbing. The company will also take on more office-based apprentices following the success of a new scheme, which was trialled last year.

Redrow currently employs 87 apprentices and the programme offers a spring board for young people trying to forge their careers as youth unemployment rates remain high.

Karen Jones, HR director for Redrow, says: “Our apprentice scheme has been extremely successful over the years and we hope that National Apprenticeship Week will raise the awareness of the fantastic opportunities that are on offer.”

Redrow believes apprentices are the key to maintaining a skilled workforce for the future and the firm is believed to have one of the highest employee-to-apprentice ratios in industry at 1:16.

Karen added: “It’s vital for the future of the industry that we invest in young people so we can enjoy a highly skilled workforce in years to come.  The employment market is tough for all, particularly school leavers, but we want to highlight just what a great option apprenticeships can be as an alternative to full-time college or university.

“The feedback we receive from our apprentices and their mentors is excellent. They take immense pride in their work and we have seen many of them go on to very successful careers in their chosen trades. It is also a great opportunity for many to progress within the company as Redrow believes in promoting from within.”

This year, National Apprenticeship Week also coincides with the Brathay Challenge 2013 which is the official search for the apprentice team of the year and is organised by the Brathay Trust and supported by the National Apprenticeship Service.

From Redrow, a total of 27 of the most promising trainees were chosen to take part in the challenge in three teams.

During part one of the challenge the teams will help to raise the profile of apprenticeships by undertaking a marketing campaign centred around National Apprenticeship Week. For part two of the challenge the teams will take on a project to help a local community organisation or charity.

Apprentice joiner Gavin Thistlewood, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, is a member of the Redrow Northern Team taking part in the Brathay Challenge. Gavin, 21, is based at Redrow’s Scholars Gate development, in Wakefield, while also studying for his NVQ level two at Barnsley College.

Gavin said: “I started doing joinery in 2008 when I made furniture for two years while at college. I’ve always had a passion for working with wood and I’ve also studied furniture design. After leaving college I wanted to expand on my joinery experience further by going into housebuilding.

“From starting the job in 2011 it has been a positive experience and has built my confidence greatly. Along the way I have made great friends and work colleagues who have opened a lot of doors and opportunities for me to take my apprenticeship further.”

The Redrow apprenticeship programme combines ‘on-the-job’ paid work and an NVQ completed over three years.

Apprentices are placed with an experienced and trusted sub-contractor, where they can learn the skills required to do their chosen job whilst working on Redrow developments and also going to college one day a week.

Applicants must be registered with CITB Construction Skills (CSkills), the construction industry’s training board, which can be done at:

They can then apply for Redrow’s apprentice scheme at:

Candidates are asked to take and pass the CSkills Skills Learning Exercise (SLE) in order to be considered for an apprenticeship. The SLE tests applicants on their understanding of practical information they are likely to require on a building site, such as measurements and drawings, etc. Shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed with the successful ones commencing their apprenticeship in August 2013.

Now in its sixth year and aimed at raising the profile of apprenticeships amongst employers, individuals, teachers, parents and the media, find out more about National Apprenticeship Week at

Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, operating across England and Wales, with a strong emphasis on high quality family housing in prime locations. Its New Heritage Collection of family homes combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors. Established more than 35 years, the company has won numerous awards over the years. Redrow received a 5* Award in the Home Builder Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey in 2011 and 2012; collected the Silver award in the Large Housebuilder category of the 2012 What House? awards; and its ‘Share a little bit of joy’ campaign was named best marketing initiative at the 2012 Housebuilder Awards.  Web: