Redrow Boosts Young People's Career Chances

UK housebuilder Redrow is doing its bit to help tackle the problem of youth unemployment. 

As the company adds 10 new sales trainees to its payroll, statistics show that Redrow has an excellent record of employing young people.

One in seven of Redrow’s 920 employees are aged 16 to 24 – including a significant number of apprentices and graduate trainees.  And Redrow boss Steve Morgan believes the company is way ahead of others in the housebuilding and construction industry when it comes to giving young people a fighting chance.

Steve, who originally launched the business aged 21 with a £5,000 loan from his father, said: “The fact that over a million 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK are out of work is a disgrace. At Redrow we’re doing our bit to help through initiatives like apprenticeships, graduate training programmes, general employment of young people and this latest venture, our new sales training scheme. If other companies did the same it would make a massive difference.”

A strong track record in training and developing the skills of its employees recently helped Redrow to be included in Building magazine’s Good Employer Guide, a list of the top 61 construction or construction related businesses to work for in the UK. Judges described career progression as one of Redrow’s “standout benefits”.

The new sales training programme has seen 10 more young people recruited in England and Wales. The scheme is designed to develop the skills and experience they need to work as Redrow sales consultants, selling new homes to customers at developments around the UK. It combines formal training with ‘on the job’ experience, culminating in an NVQ level 2 qualification in the sale of residential property.

Steve added: “We all live, breathe and sleep Redrow and it’s quite hard for someone to come into the business from outside and understand that. This scheme is all about home growing talent, educating them in the ‘Redrow way’ and also gives young people the opportunity to become the managers of the future.   We already have several examples within the business of directors who started as trainees so there is no limit to where these young people can go.”

One of the first to be taken on was 20-year-old David Skelton, from Hull, who had been working as a waiter and maitre d’ at a local restaurant for two years since leaving sixth form college.

“I really wanted to get into sales and applied for loads of jobs but noone would look at me without experience,” said David. “The restaurant job was really just filling in time whereas this is a career.  It is very difficult for young people to find work; many of my friends aren’t working or are doing temporary jobs. Redrow is a leading example and it would be great if other companies could follow suit.”

With 70 construction apprentices on its books – and 20 more to be recruited this year – Redrow is also believed to have one of the best apprentices to employees ratios (1:16) in the industry; it also runs a structured training programme for new graduates in various disciplines, as well as a one-year work placement scheme for under-graduates; and there are plans to introduce office based apprenticeships later this year.

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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, collected the Gold award in the Large Housebuilder category of the 2011 What House? awards and its ‘Our Pride ~ Your Joy’ campaign was named best marketing initiative at the 2011Housebuilder Awards for innovation and excellence.  Web: