Yorkshire housebuilder, Avant Homes is helping to nurture the next generation of commercial and technical talent in the region, whilst addressing the skill shortage in the sector, with a new apprenticeship scheme.
Aimed at encouraging more young people to seek a career in the housebuilding industry, the scheme provides candidates with hands-on experience in a real-life environment, taking skills already learned in school and college and developing them on the job.
Unlike other apprenticeship initiatives in the building and construction sector that focus on trade skills, the Avant Homes scheme is based around learning and developing commercial skills such as Quantity Surveying and buying alongside technical competences, including architectural and engineering.
Danny Gaunt and Lewis Galtress are two of the apprentices taking part in the scheme. The pair are studying Construction and the Built Environment, with Danny at Barnsley College and Lewis at Leeds College of Building.
Danny said: “Avant is such a well-regarded company, and I saw the apprentice scheme as a great opportunity to learn.
“I’ve had a lot of roles and responsibilities since starting with the company and I’ve worked across a number of different projects. It’s been really rewarding seeing my work contribute to the business and I’m really looking forward to continuing with my qualification right up to degree level with Avant.”
Based in Wakefield, Avant Homes Yorkshire is an operating company of the Avant Homes group, one of the leading private developers of residential property in the UK.
It currently operates across 13 developments throughout Yorkshire, stretching from Godwin Vale in Stamford Bridge to Sorby Village in Sheffield with more than 150 people working to deliver high quality new homes, demonstrating the need for a talented and skilled workforce in the region.
Lewis said: “I’d been told about how great the company is and the people within it. The chance to learn about both architecture and engineering whilst studying has been brilliant. I’ve been involved in a range of projects with a team that has made me feel so welcome. Everyone has helped me with my work, and it means a great deal.
“After I’ve finished my apprenticeship, I’m hoping to continue within the housebuilding sector, and I’d like that to be with Avant.”
Across the housebuilding industry there is a shortage of skilled workers, with research from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicting that the Yorkshire will need more than 2,000 new workers a year between 2019 and 2023 to meet the demand for new homes.
The Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Home Building Skills Partnership in conjunction with the CTIB have launched a combined initiative to address this shortage nationally, something Avant Homes is supporting with this new apprenticeship scheme.
Avant Homes Yorkshire managing director Chris Coley said: “We’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that apprentices can have and there is a collective effort across our industry to get more young adults and school leavers into the sector. At Avant Homes, we’re pleased to be playing our part in supporting the industry by training the next generation of talent.
“As the demand for homes increases, so will the need for a skilled workforce. So far, we’ve welcomed two apprentices to Avant Homes Yorkshire, and they’ve been fantastic additions to our team.”