Construction workers scaling the career ladder in Lenton
Published by Becki Ord for Keepmoat in Communities and also in Housing
Photo caption: Apprentices Amy Breffitt and Chris Wragg are earning and learning with Keepmoat, which is working to deliver the 142 new homes in Lenton, as part of Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham City Council’s Building a Better Nottingham scheme.
TWO budding construction workers are scaling the career ladder thanks to apprenticeships on a £14 million housing development in Nottingham.
Chris Wragg, 29, and Amy Breffitt, 20, are earning and learning thanks to regeneration specialist Keepmoat, which is working to deliver the 142 new homes in Lenton, as part of Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham City Council’s Building a Better Nottingham scheme.
The site is set to create a total of 14 apprenticeship opportunities over the course of the build.
For Aspley-born Amy, her admin apprenticeship has been a long time in the making as she was unemployed for four years following a severe ankle injury.
The ex-Hadden Park student sent out thousands of applications while unemployed as well as undergoing a six hour operation and intensive physiotherapy to learn how to walk again.
“I tore all the ligaments and broke most of my bones in my ankle, it was devastating. I couldn’t go anywhere without my crutches and found it really hard to get a job.
“Both my parents are unemployed – I just didn’t want to get stuck in the same cycle.
“This was the first interview I’d had and I really didn’t think I’d get the job.
“My parents were so proud of me when I told them about my apprenticeship.
“It’s been a real boost, I am happier than I have ever been,” says Amy who is looking forward to going back to college in September to complete an NVQ in Business Administration.
Joining her on the development is 29-year-old Chris Wragg. A former site labourer, apprentice bricklayer Chris is hoping to be a site manager within three years thanks to this opportunity.
“I started work at 16 as a labourer, working on the railways and in warehouses. I have done a couple of courses in plumbing and painting and decorating, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had where I can get a trade under my belt and really progress on the career ladder,” says Chris, who lives in Carlton.
Leaving Carlton le Willows High School in Gedling with grades Cs and Ds in his GCSEs, Chris is looking forward to going back to college thanks to his apprenticeship.
Andy Adlington, Project Manager for the Lenton site, will oversee the apprentices as they embark on their new careers. He said: “Keepmoat is always looking to work with partners to create opportunities for local people, so it’s great to have two local apprentices starting with us. Amy and Chris are very eager to learn and are enthusiastic about gaining the skills, which will give them a life-long career in construction.”
The scheme will see all five high-rise tower blocks in Park Street and Lombard Close demolished to make way for the new affordable homes.
The development will comprise of a mixture of one and two bedroom flats for general use, a 54-bed independent living scheme for the over 60s, 16 bungalows and a mix of two and three bedroom family homes.
Councillor Alex Ball, Executive Assistant with responsibility for Housing and Regeneration at Nottingham City Council, said: “The Building a Better Nottingham scheme is of course about building new sustainable council homes and developing the city’s housing stock.
“But with such large building programmes come jobs, work for local suppliers and valuable training opportunities that not only offer individuals like Chris and Amy the chance to further themselves, but help drive the local economy.
“For just one site to be offering 14 apprenticeships is fantastic. The ripple effect from those young people gaining employment will be a huge benefit to Nottingham.”
Keepmoat is also currently working in partnership with Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham City Council to deliver the award-winning multi-million pound Secure Warm Modern home improvement programme across the city.