The major skills shortage facing the UK has been well-documented in recent months; as a result of an aging workforce, 17% of whom are due to retire within the next 10 years*, there are currently too few young people joining the industry to fill the gap. One young person helping to fill the space is Charlotte Collins, who completed her apprenticeship at Crest Nicholson’s Cedars Park development in Stowmarket.
Since completing her carpentry apprenticeship within one year as opposed to the usual two or even three years, Charlotte is now training to be a site manager and is on course to be fully qualified in 2014.
Charlotte (19), said: “Construction isn’t necessarily the first industry many girls think of when they are considering their career options – but I absolutely love it. I highly recommend more young people, and girls in particular, think about becoming apprentices; there are so many disciplines to suit different skills sets and you get to earn while you learn. Furthermore, you are helping to build someone’s home which is a brilliant feeling and gives you a real sense of achievement.
“I feel that my career has been given such a boost by becoming apprentice with Crest Nicholson. The Company recognised my potential and really invested in me. They helped me to not only complete my course in half the usual time and gain a Distinction, but, thanks to the skills I learned whilst on the job, I was also named ‘Best Level 3 Carpentry Student’ and ‘Best Student of the Year’ at Otley College. I’m so pleased that I am now training to become a site manager – especially at my age. It’s brilliant that I have been given the opportunity and I’m, really looking forward to progressing my career further.”
James Moody, Managing Director for Crest Nicholson Eastern, said: “We are all extremely proud of Charlotte and all that she has accomplished; she is a real testament to what can be achieved with the right level of raw talent, hard work and investment. She is a superb apprentice and her colleagues on site only have the highest praise for her.
“Crest Nicholson has always believed in investing in the next generation and we have a robust Apprenticeships training programme in place in order to equip young people with the skills they need to forge a successful, lifelong career in the building and construction industry. I wish Charlotte and all of our apprentices the very best of luck with their careers.”
Charlotte concludes: “Becoming an apprentice is the best way to learn. Working on site as part of a team really opens your eyes to real life and what you need to do to achieve your careers aims. I love being part of the team here and am really excited about my career prospects.”
The latest phase of homes at Cedars Park, The Laurels, has recently been released for sale. The Laurels consists of 14 different house styles, including a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses. Most of the homes will have an open-plan kitchen and dining area and include an en suite bathroom to the master bedroom. All homes will also benefit from outdoor space.
Homes currently available for sale are three-bedroom houses starting from £170,000 and four-bedroom houses from £199,500. For further information, please call the Sales and Marketing Suite, The Laurels at Cedars Park, Osprey Drive, Off Creeting Road, Stowmarket IP14 5GD on 0870 755 1620 or visit www.crestnicholson.com/cedarspark