An aspiring young businesswoman hoping to forge a career in the housebuilding industry is one of a record seven youngsters starting their apprenticeships at a Milton Keynes-based housebuilder.
Lillie Pengelley at Bovis Homes' Milton Keynes office
Lillie Pengelley, 18, is tackling her level 3 business administration apprenticeship at Bovis Homes, and hopes to work in the construction sector after completing it in 12 months’ time.
Lillie, from Dunstable, works five days a week at the housebuilder’s Milton Keynes office, home to its Northern Home Counties region, which has taken on its biggest-ever number of apprentices during the latest intake.
Lillie, who provides administration support, including work on reception, while she completes an online course at Babington College, said: “I’m getting great experience of working in an office environment and learning about housebuilding. I want to stay in the construction industry and my line manager Sue, plus the rest of the office, has been a great support.
“If other young people are interested in an apprenticeship here, they should definitely do it. My advice is, don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask questions!”
Harry Bentley, 17, is starting a two-year carpentry apprenticeship and hopes to gain his Level 3 after that.
Harry, who attended Verulam School in St Albans, has already helped install doors and stairs, and aspires to start his own carpentry business in the future.
“I chose an apprenticeship because it’s hands on learning, while being able to earn a salary,” he said. “Bovis Homes has been great so far and with my supervisor, I've installed doors, stairs, skirting and more.
“I want to own my own carpentry business in the future and the advice I would give to others wanting to get into the housing industry would be to go for it and work hard.”
Manny Stevens, William Francis, Connor Underwood, Ethan Hubbard and James Hughes are also getting to grips with carpentry apprentices.
All apprentices went through a special apprenticeship induction at the Milton Keynes office, which included health and safety training and team-building exercises.
Roger Morton, performance director at Bovis Homes, said: “We are very excited to welcome our new apprentices, and we have high hopes for them in the future!
“The induction went very well, with apprentices getting to know each other – through a spaghetti marshmallow challenge amongst other things! They had spaghetti and marshmallows and the challenge was to build a structure within a set time.
“Apprentices and young people are the future of this industry and we are building more direct relationships with colleges and schools to offer a range of apprenticeships across the board, not just carpentry and bricklaying.”