A career in construction is more than just a flight of fancy for apprentices Luke Bowdler and Robbie Bromley.
In addition to working on new homes for customers at Redrow’s popular development The Coppice in Leegomery, the pair also hatched a plan to build a duck house to be floated on the pond at the development.
As Redrow launches its annual apprentice recruitment drive to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (March 14-18), Luke and Robbie share their experiences of working for the award-winning homebuilder.
Luke, 21, a former student at Bridgnorth Endowed School joined Redrow in August 2014 as an apprentice carpenter.
“An apprenticeship offered a way into the world of employment where I could learn and earn money at the same time,” Luke explained.
“I like making things and enjoyed DT (design technology) at school and my granddad was a carpenter.”
Building the duck house enabled Luke to put his new skills to the test.
“We had local school children and TV presenter Andy Day coming to open the woodland walk on site so I had a timescale to work to when I was building the duck house,” he said.
“It took about two days to make, but I enjoyed it as it gave me the opportunity to use the materials and tools I use every day in a different way. I’d never done anything like that before – usually I work on roofs, joists, internal walls and door frames so I was a bit worried it would sink!”
Luckily for groundworks apprentice Robbie, who had to go into the water to float the duck house, Luke’s handiwork was watertight.
Robbie, 19, who attended Charlton School in Telford, said: “When I left school I went to college and did some plastering and bricklaying, but hadn’t done any groundworks before I applied for the apprenticeship. I wanted to do something where I could learn and get a trade. I’ve done a bit of everything including slab laying, tarmacking and fitting kerbs. Hopefully in the future I will be able to move into management.”
For the third year running Redrow has been recognised as a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer and received the title of Great Britain Large Employer of the Year at the 2015 CITB Apprenticeship Awards.
Trainees make up around 15% of Redrow’s direct employees and the company is looking to maintain that as its workforce grows. Nationally Redrow hopes to take 100 trade apprentices, including nine at its Tamworth-based Midlands division, which employs Luke and Robbie.
Established more than 40 years, Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, with a £1billion turnover and building more than 4,000 homes in 2014/15 financial year.
Operating across England and Wales, there is a strong emphasis on providing high quality homes in prime locations and its housing ranges feature designs to suit all lifestyles:
• The Heritage Collection combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors.
• The classically styled Regent Collection features Georgian inspired street scenes and architecture.
• Redrow has also launched a new brand of contemporary homes in Abode, which boast open plan layouts with streamlined kitchen, dining and lounge areas, high specification wet rooms and outdoor living space.
Redrow also creates exclusive bespoke developments in both rural and urban locations. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder at the What House? Awards 2015 and 2014, Best House Design at the Sunday Times British Home Awards 2015, the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year and five consecutive 5* awards in the Home Builder Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey. Its ‘My Redrow’ online tool won the overall Customer Engagement category at the 2013 Peer Awards for Excellence. Web: www.redrow.co.uk.