Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti was on hand to celebrate the success of two young Bristol apprentices at Bovis Homes' flagship development, Charlton Hayes.
Steve Hoskins and Chris Rae, both 20, have so impressed Bovis Homes during their four-year apprenticeships that they are being taken on full-time and are now being trained to become site managers for the housebuilding firm.
The pair, both recent winners in the company's internal South West Apprentice of the Year Awards, received commemorative awards from Mr Lopresti, who said he was delighted at the talented duo's achievement.
"I was delighted to attend the presentation to celebrate the promotion of Steve and Chris to Trainee Assistant Site Managers for Bovis Homes," commented Mr Lopresti. "Both have come through four-year apprenticeship schemes and are examples of the talent and hard work ethic that many of our local young people possess. Local firms need a highly skilled local workforce and I believe that schemes like this greatly benefit many young people. It is crucial that we continue to build up the skills that our local businesses need and that will fuel long-term growth.
"Having left school at a young age myself, I fully appreciate how apprenticeships aid social mobility and give young people the qualifications and drive to work hard and add to the local economy. I commend Bovis Homes for the support they have given to Steve and Chris and look forward to hearing about future promotions in the years ahead."
Both Steve and Chris took their plumbing apprenticeships through OnSite Bristol. Steve worked mainly at Bovis Homes' Dorian Road site in Bristol, which is part of Bristol City Council Prefab Redevelopment Project, with contractor Gregor Heating and Plumbing. He lives locally at Horfield having attended St Bede's Catholic College in Lawrence Weston.
Chris most recently worked with contractor GFC Plumbing and Heating at Charlton Hayes, a 2,400 home scheme in South Gloucestershire which is the biggest project of its type in the Bristol area for 30 years. He lives in Yate and went to Brimsham Green School.
Also on hand to congratulate the pair of apprentices was Bovis Homes South West region managing director Malcolm Pink.
Malcolm said: "As a business we are committed to developing young people through our apprenticeship schemes and these two lads show just what can be achieved.
"Young people often get a bad press in the media, but Steve and Chris are shining examples of youngsters who have been prepared to get their heads down and graft while showing a willingness to learn.
"The result is that they have learned valuable new skills and are now in an excellent position to further their careers in the housebuilding industry. I am sure they have set an example that our other apprentices - who work in areas such as plumbing, carpentry, office administration and bricklaying - will be keen to follow.
"That's good news for the Bristol area because there remains a huge need for housing here - and these are some of the people who will be delivering that well into the future."
Chris, who joined the company from school, said: "Before working with Bovis Homes I had difficulty communicating with new people but after spending four years talking with other trades and customers I have built up a lot of confidence and feel much more confident in those situations.
"I now enjoy getting involved in group discussions and finding ways around problems. Being on different sites means I have seen close up the different ways that people approach the job in hand and learned some valuable skills."
Steve, who also joined Bovis Homes straight from school, added: "I remember being nervous on my first day but the Bovis Homes staff were quick to reassure me and I have never really looked back.
"The best day I have had on site was when I first completed a whole 2nd fix on a home - when all the sanitary ware and taps are installed - by myself. It was a proud moment. Now I want to complete my training as an assistant site manager and gain as many qualifications as possible to further my career."