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Crawley College apprentices build their first homes

With National Apprenticeship Week coming to an end, Crawley College apprentices show the kinds of experiences and opportunities schemes such as this one can provide.



Timber frame external units at Crawley completed by carpentry apprentices

Apprentices from Crawley College have recently finished building their first five homes with the help of Taylor Wimpey South Thames.

The 8 carpentry and 12 bricklaying apprentices started on site with Taylor Wimpey on 7 August 2017. Following an induction and health and safety briefing at the housebuilder’s regional office in Leatherhead, the apprentices were provided with new uniform, personal protection equipment and tools before heading off to work on two of its developments in West Sussex.

The carpenters have been working on the timber frame homes at the Forge Wood development in Crawley, while the bricklaying apprentices have been learning about the traditionally constructed homes at Kilnwood Vale in Faygate. All of the apprentices have been working towards completing new homes at these developments and, with the help of mentoring from dedicated master tradesmen and support from their own Apprentice Team Manager, the first five houses are now finished.

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Commenting on the success of the scheme so far, Taylor Wimpey South Thames’ Production Director David Hill says:

“It is very difficult not to be impressed by the progress of these young individuals. After six months, they are already building homes. Their progress is even better than we envisaged and we look forward to observing their further development during the next two and a half years years. Due to the success of the scheme we are pleased to announce that Taylor Wimpey South Thames will be recruiting more apprentices for the next academic year.”

Carpentry apprentices working hard erecting the internal walls at Crawley

Tim Betts, Divisional Managing Director at Taylor Wimpey adds:

“I recently visited our Forge Wood and Kilnwood Vale developments and was extremely impressed with the quality of the workmanship of our bricklaying and carpentry apprentices. This has been achieved as a result of the fantastic support they have received.”

Taylor Wimpey’s link with Crawley College is part of a pilot scheme to work with local colleges in a programme in which, in the words of David Hill, “local people build local homes for local communities.” Since the launch of the scheme, the housebuilder has forged close relations with both the college and the individual apprentices to help them to develop their practical skills and grow their confidence as individuals and as part of a wider team.

The apprentices themselves are grateful for the opportunities the scheme has opened up, with 17-year-old Jamie Davies commenting:

“This apprenticeship has been amazing for work and learning new skills I couldn’t do at college, and now I know my work is going to stay up, it makes me happy that I am working for Taylor Wimpey.”

17-year-old Jamie Davies

National Apprenticeship Week, which this year runs from 5th to 9th March, celebrates the success of apprenticeship schemes such as this one and aims to encourage more people to choose an apprenticeship.

David Hill adds:

“National Apprenticeship Week highlights the real career opportunities offered by companies within all industry sectors. It showcases the opportunities for apprentices to acquire on the job training whilst being paid to learn a valuable trade and helps them to find work within an industry of their interest, despite a lack of experience. For employers, National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to recruit a reliable next generation of workers who can bed into the culture of a company and embrace its principles.”

The finished external product at Kilnwood – completed by the bricklaying and carpentry apprentices

  • To find out more about National Apprenticehip Week, click here.
  • More information about apprenticeship opportunities at Crawley College can be found here.
  • Information about Taylor Wimpey is available here.

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Elf Day at Crawley College helps raise money for Alzheimer’s society



Staff and students at Crawley College Group joined other colleges across their group including Chichester, Brinsbury, Haywards Heath and Worthing Colleges – as they dressed as elves earlier this month in support of Elf Day, a festive themed fundraising event for Alzheimer’s Society.

The days helped to raise nearly £1,500 for the group’s charity of the year.

Lisa Humphries, Director of Student Services and Pastoral Support for the Chichester College Group, said:

“Everyone out-elved themselves in support of Alzheimer’s Support.

“We were overwhelmed by the support everyone gave us, raising an incredible amount to kick-off our fundraising efforts for our chosen charity of the year.

“The elves really were out in force on all campuses, from making treats to sell to walking many memory miles and attending virtual workshops to find out more about dementia.

“The support our students and staff gave us was phenomenal, especially our student experience team who organised events at all of our colleges.”

The Chichester College Group will be fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society throughout the remainder of the academic year, with more events planned over the coming months/

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