Future Southampton

📰 Regenerating lives, as well as estates

14 apprenticeships and over 70 other jobs, work experience, training opportunities and business start-ups have been created since the start of work by Southampton City Council to regenerate its council housing estates.  Since 2009, the Estate Regeneration project has supported these young people to pursue new, technical and skilled careers in the building, electrical, carpentry and plumbing trades, amongst others.

The latest influx of trainees began their apprenticeships and work experience from September and have already mastered many skills, learnt valuable lessons about the world of work and their new careers.

Having left school with no qualification, carpentry apprentice Flo Stevens, 19,  got her passion for carpentry by helping out with the refurbishment of the kitchen in her house.  She went to college to learn her trade with Level 1 and 2 Diplomas in Carpentry and Joinery. Flo is now a trainee apprentice with housing developer Lovell where she is working on site at Laxton Close, Sholing, learning the practical skills of her trade supervised by qualified tradespeople.

Of the apprenticeship scheme, she said: “I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship with Lovell.  I’m learning so much; not only about how my chosen career works in practice, but also how it fits in to wider developments. I’ve had the chance to get involved with and observe all kinds of other disciplines, including bricklaying, but I’ve also really got to understand how a building site works, including all the health and safety aspects.”

She added: “Starting on site in the autumn wasn’t the best thing. It’s cold. But you get used to it. I’m really looking forward to starting work inside, where it’s warmer, undertaking the second fixings like skirting boards soon. I’m also looking forward to working on the roof, as I love heights; I’m a bit of a dare-devil!”

    • Lovell apprentices 2013

    Lovell apprentices 2013

    • drew smith work experience

    drew smith work experience

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Martyn and Bradley are working on site at Cumbrian Way in Millbrook, where Drew Smith Limited is building 34 affordable homes and 16 open market flats. Both have had spells of unemployment, and are now participating in a 6 month work placement. At present they are working with the plumbing trade, Martyn said: “I’ve mostly focussed on installing radiators and baths so far. There’s a lot more to it than I realised, and the baths in particular have been quite challenging. I’ve learnt a lot and hope to gain more experience and knowledge to take forward into future employment.”

Councillor Warwick Payne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainability, said: “We are committed to providing new jobs within the city and supporting people to train to find jobs that meet their needs. Hearing some of the stories of the apprentices that our developments have enabled is very inspiring, and for them to be contributing to the future success of their city is fantastic. I’m sure we’ll see great things from them all; building a brighter future for themselves and Southampton.”

An apprenticeship combines learning at a college/training provider with on-site experience to give apprentices the right mix of technical and practical skills.