East Midlands-based, family-run home builder, Fairgrove, is committing to the future of its workforce, by taking on its biggest group of apprentices to date.
The company have a long history of developing apprentices, with several senior team members having joined the business on initial apprenticeships.
Fairgrove, based in Bridge House in Kimberley, Nottingham, is currently operating at three sites across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The company has recently invested in six young people on apprenticeships in bricklaying and joinery, as part of its latest cohort.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay in Fairgrove, alongside many other home builders, being able to bring their regular annual intake of apprentices into the business.
Fairgrove’s sites are The Brewery Yard and Nine Corners in Kimberley, as well as Swanwick Fields near Alfreton. With labour shortages hampering the sector, it is hoped that the influx of fresh talent in the class of 2022 will help ease the current skills shortages that most of the country is experiencing.
Steve Midgley, Fairgrove’s Managing Director, who co-founded the company in 1995 alongside his wife Christine Midgley, said: “We have recruited apprentices and trainees for many years. Our Accounts Manager, Carly Trueman, joined us over 20 years ago as a trainee and many of our bricklayers came through their apprenticeships with us.
“Our Kitchen Factory Manager started with us five years ago on a Degree Apprenticeship with Derby University. He now has a permanent secure job with us at Fairgrove, as well as his degree and no student loan debt to pay whatsoever – we think an apprenticeship is a fantastic way for young people to invest in themselves.”
Fairgrove has a well-established relationship with Nottingham College at Basford Hall, which has supported the home building industry for a number of years, while the National House-Building Council (NHBC) Training Hub has also been used to develop young talent.
18-year-old Jamil Ulhaq, Apprentice Bricklayer at Fairgrove, said: “I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship at Fairgrove. I started work on The Brewery Yard in January 2022 and took the opportunity to start an apprenticeship in July.
“I train at the NHBC Training Hub, and it’s a mix of 70% building and 30% learning at the moment, which is a good balance for me. I left school during the first COVID lockdown and it was tough, but the opportunity to start an apprentice has been a great one, I’m happy here.
“Everyone has been very welcoming at Fairgrove. This company is a good company as they look out for you and help you to develop as an individual. They treat you very well.”
Steve added: “We specifically set out a policy five years ago to grow the employed workforce of the company, but unfortunately COVID-19 got in the way, and we lost two years of intake.
“We hope that this 2022 intake of apprenticeships will signal a full return to the norm, as we continue to grow and invest in the workforce of the future.”
For more information about the ongoing developments of Fairgrove and its apprentices, please visit: https://www.fairgrove.co.uk