National Apprenticeship Week: Apprentice follows grandfather into housebuilding industry

A young apprentice is following in his grandfather’s footsteps and building the foundations to a successful career in construction at Harron Homes’ Doncaster development De Maulay Manor.
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This National Apprenticeship Week (5th-11th February) Bradley Panks is calling for other young people to consider this route into the industry.

Wickersley-born Bradley is a joinery apprentice who has recently commenced on-site work at De Maulay Manor in New Rossington.

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His grandfather also works in the construction sector, and Bradley hopes to follow in his relative’s footsteps and help contribute towards Doncaster’s housebuilding industry.

Harron Homes Apprentice Bradley Panks.Harron Homes Apprentice Bradley Panks.
Harron Homes Apprentice Bradley Panks.

Harron Homes’ passion for building quality homes to the highest specification means the business is keen to get apprentices stuck in with practical on-site work as soon as possible.

By training the team from the ground up with apprenticeships like these, Harron can maintain its high design and construction standards while giving people the opportunity to begin practicing valuable skills in real work contexts straightaway.

Bradley is currently undertaking the second year of his joinery apprenticeship. The level 2 Joinery diploma operates as a ‘day-release course,’ with his work at De Maulay Manor balanced with one day per week spent at Rotherham College. The course, which is studied over three years, is designed to equip people new to the industry with all the crucial skills for the job.

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“Harron is great because they had me working on site really quickly,” says Bradley. “College is useful, but there are some on-site scenarios that a college course simply can’t predict. Getting on-site experience is therefore invaluable, since it eases you into the kinds of work you will be doing once you have qualified, and helps you get to grips with the problems you might face day to day.

“On this scheme, I have been encouraged to trust my initiative and to progress as rapidly as possible, but if I do get stuck, or if I feel unsure about something, there are multiple people on site always willing to lend a helping hand, which makes it a great work environment overall, and an even better learning one.”

“Seeing how much pride my grandfather takes in his job is a huge inspiration for me. I was very interested in carpentry at college and so the apprenticeship was a natural next step. I would encourage anyone else considering construction to try out the apprenticeship scheme!”

Lee Kilby, Construction Director for Harron Homes North Midlands, comments, “The value of the apprenticeship in joinery and in bricklaying can’t be overestimated. Once you have received the qualification, you have a skill for life: no-one can take that away from you. It is always going to give you access into a career.

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“It is in our interest to train these apprentices up to the highest level and ensure they become instrumental in achieving Harron’s aims of creating beautiful, long-lasting homes.

“We are proud to invest in our apprentices and help them become a part of our mission to deliver our customers their dream home.”

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week (6th-12th February) celebrates ‘Skills for Life’, with the week reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals develop the skills and knowledge needed for a rewarding career, while at the same time helping businesses develop a talented workforce well-equipped with crucial skills for the future.

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