Learning a trade

Work: Greg Mulligan, co-founder and director at Mulbury Homes and Isaac Walker, apprentice joiner at Lockside Road, Preston
Work: Greg Mulligan, co-founder and director at Mulbury Homes and Isaac Walker, apprentice joiner at Lockside Road, Preston
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As the construction sector continues to recover one developer is working to tackle a skills shortage and train future generations

An affordable housing developer has shown its commitment to young construction workers with the launch of its apprenticeship scheme.

North West developer Mulbury Homes – which is helping apprentices in Preston – has already provided training opportunities for 11 apprentices, with a further 12 construction-led placements lined up this year.

It comes at a time when construction bosses have told of a shortage in the number of workers with the relevant skills.

The apprentices are being placed through the Constructing the Future Lancashire scheme run by The Calico Group and are working on all of Mulbury’s new projects across the North West.

They are training in specialist trade roles such as joinery and bricklaying in a bid to boost the number of youngsters embarking on a career in construction.

Isaac Walker, an apprentice joiner, is working at Mulbury’s Lockside Road site in Preston, gaining valuable insight with main contractor Harbur Construction.

He said: “I’m really enjoying my time on site so far, particularly the diversity of the role which means I’m developing new skills every day.”

Greg Mulligan, a director at Mulbury Homes, said: “It’s well documented that the construction industry is experiencing a shortage in the number of skilled workers available as the sector continues recovering.

“Apprentices can help plug those skills gaps and give us our workforce of the future which is why we’re committed to supporting young people into the industry through our apprenticeship scheme.”

Christian Bury, managing director at Harbur Construction, said: “Attending university has become routine for getting a foot on the career ladder, so it can be quite discouraging for young adults who want to enter a career in construction via vocational education.

“Through this partnership with the Calico Group and Mulbury Homes we’re easing the skills shortage by providing youngsters with the training needed to succeed in the construction sector.

“The apprentices we’re supporting have made strong progress so far and we are looking forward to welcoming more trainees on board.”

Isaac, who has been training at the site since June, is also studying for a Level 2 Diploma in Wood Occupation at Preston’s College.

The 17-year-old added: “I think apprenticeships are the way forward, especially for trade-based roles where experience is key.

“The first-hand technical experience I have gained paired with what I have learnt at college means I am well on my way to becoming a fully-fledged joiner.

“I’m hoping to get a position as a contractor with a successful firm like Harbur when I qualify but I would love to run my own firm one day.”

Mulbury Homes is developing 56 new homes at Lockside on behalf of Contour Homes, one of the region’s largest registered social landlords.

The business is based in Lymm, Cheshire and works with registered housing providers, housing associations, care providers and local authorities to deliver high quality, sustainable housing developments. The business was founded in 2011.