Hard work pays off for apprentices

Seven construction apprentices have gained work placements on site at Oaklands Rise, one of London’s largest regeneration schemes.

The apprentices had enrolled in Notting Hill Genesis’ Construction Training Initiative (CTI) and are working across a range of trades, including plumbing, painting and bricklaying.

Since 1995, the CTI has helped more than 1,000 participants to develop skills that will last them a lifetime. Over 50 per cent of trainees come from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, whilst 10 per cent of participants are women.

At Oaklands Rise, Notting Hill Genesis has worked with Vistry Partnerships to provide the training opportunities, with the apprentices all living in local boroughs and some being Notting Hill Genesis residents.

Three are still working on-site, while four have completed their time at Oaklands Rise.

Kingsley, 27, an apprentice plumber, said: “I live nearby in Wembley and applied to the apprenticeship online. I have been working on the site since October and obviously had a few months off for Covid-19. The apprenticeship has been great for me, working on a big site means exposure to a variety of needs which all use different skills.

“It has been very detailed but lots of help and guidance has been given to me and I have found the whole process to be very informative. It has been great for my career progression and has helped me grow as a person and allowed me to become more independent.”

Fellow apprentice plumber Casey, 19, added: “I have been doing my apprenticeship for the last 10 months and have enjoyed the process and wide set of skills and tasks I have been exposed to. For someone my age just coming out of college, I have gained a great insight into the construction industry.

It’s not just us on site so I get to see the electricians, painters and other craftsman in action and have gained an appreciation for all the work that goes into the building. I have learned a great set of skills and I am keen to stay in the construction industry.

Caroline Walker is the Project Skills Officer at Notting Hill Genesis who has overseen this latest Apprenticeship programme at Oaklands. She said: “I am very proud of these apprentices. For some, this is their first experience of a construction site and full-time work. They have adapted really well and are focused on achieving their NVQ2 Qualifications to enable them to gain employment in the industry. I am also delighted that CTI have our first woman apprentice on this site doing painting and decorating”.

“These programmes would not be a success without the invaluable support of our partners, including Vistry Partnerships, LJJ, H20, Regents Brickwork and A&B Decorators. They have all shown their full support and provided invaluable time and supervision to the apprentices, helping them to achieve their NVQ qualification.”

Oaklands Rise is a partnership between Notting Hill Genesis and Queens Park Rangers Football Club providing 605 new homes for social rent, affordable rent, shared ownership and private rent. It is due to be completed next summer. For more details or to make an enquiry visit www.oaklandsrise.co.uk.