Kendal Homebuilder Reinforces Its Foundations In Apprenticeship Training

Posted on February 12, 2016 | Education, News

An award-winning Kendal-based homebuilder, constructing properties across Cumbria, North Lancashire and the Dales, is helping to meet the Government’s target of a million new homes by 2020 through an ongoing commitment to the creation and management of apprenticeships.

Russell Armer, which has been building high quality and inspiring homes in Cumbria for over 50 years, has shown a commitment to apprentices over a long period of time. Construction Director, Andrew Taylor started as an apprentice bricklayer with the company in 1977 and now oversees the current apprenticeship programme. Russell Armer’s John Dirkin started as an apprentice plumber at the same time as Andrew and has stayed on to enjoy a fulfilling career with the company.

Nine apprentices are currently learning on-the-job skills at Russell Armer developments that can range from four-bedroom homes in Grange-over-Sands, to large detached homes in Arkholme and affordable homes in Kendal.

Their on-site training covers construction skills such as bricklaying, laying a brick paviour road, traditional roofing and laying floors, as well as the final finishing works, such as internal and external painting and door-hanging. This enables them to work alongside trained construction workers and tradesmen, observing their work colleagues’ ways of handling jobs, whilst being mentored in their own duties. It reinforces what the apprentices learn in the classroom, and in controlled work environments at Kendal College and Preston College – their training providers.

This blend of practical work and theoretical exercises gives them the best of both worlds and the most effective means of securing employment after apprenticeship. Russell Armer takes on all of the apprentices it has nurtured, as well as existing tradesmen who meet its high standards. Its motto is that the apprentice of today is the homebuilder of the future.

Apprentices join a three-year programme, which requires them to pass an NVQ at the end of each year. The studies begin in September, but any time of year is a good one for would-be apprentices to contact Russell Armer. Two of its latest apprentices started in January 2015.

Andrew Taylor says: “The Government has set a target of 240,000 new homes per year in the run up to 2020 and the construction sector is crying out for skilled tradesmen who can help it achieve this target. Russell Armer believes apprenticeships are essential, as the construction sector always needs tradesmen at the entry level.

“We are lucky to have knowledgeable staff within the colleges with which we work, who dovetail their training with that provided on-site. It is hugely rewarding to see apprentices develop from being fresh-from-school youngsters, to trained and highly skilled workmen and women. It is also encouraging to see women entering our industry as apprentices – something the Government has tried to engender recently, through its Women in Construction campaign.”

With a big target to aim at, the homebuilding industry is a great sector for young people seeking a career and full-time employment. Anyone wishing to know more about an apprenticeship with Russell Armer can call 01539 722635.