Six apprentices from Gainsborough are gaining valuable hands-on experience by being involved in building new affordable retirement living apartments in the town.
The apprentices, studying at the Gainsborough Construction Career College, are working with the Gelder Group, who are leading the building work on North Marsh Road.
The site-based work is crucial for the apprentices as it offers them a unique opportunity to work on industry-set projects with potential future employers. It also complements the college based learning.
Brandon Booth, 17, is enjoying the challenge of working on the project. He said: “I’ve learned a lot in the two months I’ve been here, it’s been good to experience working on-site. This apprenticeship has definitely confirmed that working in construction is right for me and I’m hoping to get a permanent job with the Gelder Group after my apprenticeship.”
The development will provide 24 affordable apartments for over-55s wanting to live close to the town centre in Gainsborough.
Site Manager Matt Turner urged more companies to get involved in projects like this to address the growing skills gap. He said: “The apprentices have done really well so far. Taking on apprentices in good news for the construction industry as a whole as there’s a real shortage of skills, but even more importantly for us it’s great to be fostering local talent and having apprentices within walking distance working on-site. More companies should be doing it.”
The apartments will be owned and managed by Scunthorpe-based landlord Ongo. They received support from Homes England and West Lindsey District Council, with grant funding of more than £1.5m to deliver this project. It is expected to cost around £3m overall.
The Gelder Group has been working closely with Ongo and West Lindsey District Council to ensure the scheme uses local products, employs local people and is delivered to a standard that everyone can be proud of.
Gelder Group Chief Executive Steve Gelder said: “I’m a huge supporter of apprenticeships, and the Gainsborough Construction Career College of which Gelder is a sponsor. I started my working life as an apprentice, over the years Gelder have employed and trained over 300 apprentices and we’ve never dropped below 10% of staff being employed as apprentices. The lads on the North Marsh Road project are a good example of what can be achieved by employing & training local talent rather than just using sub-contractors which is all too common in our industry.”
Work started on site in November last year and is expected to be complete in early 2020.