Cambridge apprentice urges schools to support young people into the housebuilding industry

21 February 2019

An apprentice at a national housebuilder in Cambridge is urging schools to help bridge an industry skills gaps by teaching more young people about alternative routes into employment.

Bovis Homes apprentice Wootton
Patrick Deloughery, bricklaying apprentice at Bovis Homes 
Patrick Deloughery, 18, a bricklaying apprentice at Bovis Homes, is calling for more career guidance on apprenticeships to be offered at schools, to encourage more pupils to pick up construction trades.

Patrick, from Cherry Hinton, has progressed to Level 3 of his apprenticeship, and recently won Apprentice of the Year for his region, Northern Home Counties, at the Bovis Homes Annual Awards 2019.

He said: “I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship to others. It’s a route you don’t hear much about, in housebuilding and other sectors.

“Bovis Homes attracted me as it seemed a great place to learn the trade and how to build a house. It has a family ethos and every manager I’ve had has been very supportive.

“They need to do more in schools to promote apprenticeships and support interested people towards that choice.

“Some pupils are very hands-on and there’s a shortage of tradespeople – but no-one’s broaching it. The word needs to be put out there and companies and colleges need to visit more schools.

“There are a lot of youngsters who sit at home because they’ve left school before Sixth Form and they don’t know about the opportunities that are out there, particularly in housebuilding.

“There should be a better structure to support young people into apprenticeships and to make sure they get the training they need to make an impact in the industry.”

Speaking of his award, Patrick added: “I couldn’t believe I won at first, it didn’t feel real! It was a great celebration and I got to meet all different types of people within the business.

“It’s such a great feeling to be recognised with an award and it has encouraged me to take even more pride in my work and presentation, whatever the task is and that’s something Bovis Homes teaches you very early on.”

Patrick spends one day a week at training provider Construction Training Specialists Ltd in Norwich, learning theory and taking part in practical assessments while improving his Maths and English.

Bovis Homes Annual Awards Greg Fitzgerald
Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive at Bovis Homes, with Patrick Deloughery, who won Apprentice of the Year for his region at the housebuilder's Annual Awards 2019 
He works four days a week at Bovis Homes’ Wootton Park location in Bedfordshire and now aims to climb up the career ladder and reach management level at the developer.

Since starting his apprenticeship at Bovis Homes in 2016, he has learnt about all aspects of bricklaying, including cavity walls, window openings and wider topics, such as National House Building Council (NHBC) guidelines.

Patrick said that his success at Bovis Homes’ annual awards ceremony in Gloucestershire was his greatest achievement to date.

Outside of work, the Cambridge United fan travels to most of his team’s games and plays centre-back for his local club.

Hayley Waldron, functional training manager at Bovis Homes, said of Patrick’s achievements: “Patrick is a vital member of our team in Bedfordshire and has progressed leaps and bounds since starting two years ago.

“We are delighted with his success at our prestigious awards and expect him to go far at Bovis Homes in the future.”