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Builder announces apprenticeship recruitment drive

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes is creating 125 bricklaying and joinery apprenticeships as part of a recruitment drive targeting young people.

The Yorkshire business, which operates 24 regional divisions in Britain, will be spreading the apprenticeships - plus 50 trainee sales advisors and 50 graduate/trainee technical positions - across the company.

The move follows Persimmon’s own research into what young people expect from their careers. The report revealed a lack of knowledge about apprenticeships among the 12 to 18 age group, with one in 10 having no idea what an apprenticeship is. Nearly two out of 10 thought apprenticeships were designed for people not bright enough for university, while 13 per cent believed apprentices worked for free.

Seven in 10 of those questioned said they planned to go to university and six in 10 wrongly believed this would help them to land a job more easily, despite recent figures showing that an average of 56 people are now applying for each graduate vacancy.

Persimmon chief executive Jeff Fairburn started his career in construction on a youth training scheme at the age of 17. He is one of a number of the company’s directors who did not attend university. He is concerned that the lack of knowledge and incorrect information that young people in the study exhibited will result in them having fewer options when they leave school.

Mr Fairburn said: “My own experience of starting work at 17 has been a positive one. We’re delighted to be giving young people the opportunity to join us.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to join a thriving business. We work hard on our training programmes and enjoy sharing our knowledge with young people and progressing them through the business. You never know, one of these young people may be our future chief executive in years to come.”