Persimmon: Building communities and careers

Leading housebuilder Persimmon Homes is committed to delivering much-needed new homes for local people throughout Lancashire and the North West, operating on over a dozen new build developments across Lancashire and Cumbria.

At the heart of these projects is a commitment to long-term sustainable communities – providing the homes and facilities and that enable neighbourhoods to thrive.

Many sites include open green spaces, playgrounds or sports pitches for families to enjoy, enhanced public transport and pedestrian links, new schools or community centres, and significant financial contributions paid to the local authority to support local infrastructure improvements.

However, as regional managing director John Roocroft explains: “The demand for new homes has never been higher, so there is always a need for quality construction industry experts and craftspeople to deliver developments throughout our region.

“That is why we work closely with local schools and colleges to showcase the opportunities available within the sector and operate a comprehensive training and development programme, making sure we have a skilled and motivated workforce both in head office and across our sites.”

The construction industry offers more than 50 different career options – from trades on site and technical experts who design new homes, to sales, accounts and customer care teams looking after the eventual homeowners.

John adds: “There is so much more to the building industry than bricks and mortar. We do, of course have annual cohorts of apprentices and a graduate recruitment programme providing a career launchpad for young planners, quantity surveyors, architects and engineers as well as traditional trades.

“But we are also known for offering ongoing opportunities for people to learn additional skills or take their career into a different direction, with support from our national training and development team as well as regional mentors.”

Persimmon was the first major housebuilder to partner with the Institute of Professional Sales (IPS), the national professional body representing careers in the sales sector. This industry-leading roll-out ensures sales advisors can follow a programme of continuous professional development, gaining nationally-recognised qualifications.

Persimmon’s focus is firmly on nurturing a workforce that has the competencies and motivation to address the national skills shortage within the construction industry and to deliver high-quality homes for local people, evidenced by their recent sponsorship of Preston Vocational Centre which provides training for 14 to 18-year-olds in a variety of trades.

Founded in 1972, Persimmon Homes is one of the UK’s leading housebuilders. The group operates from 31 regional offices throughout the UK, trading under the brand names of Persimmon Homes, Charles Church and Westbury Partnerships, building quality homes across England, Wales and Scotland.

Nationally, the company directly employs more than 5,000 people and supports around 86,000 jobs in the construction sector.

Case study: From sales to site

Two of Persimmon’s Lancashire saleswomen have swapped jobs to become trainee assistant site managers.

Chantelle Fort and Lynn Johnson have embarked on intensive in-house training programmes to acquire the knowledge and skills to ultimately manage their own new-build housing developments.

Managing director John Roocroft said: “We are very keen to encourage more women to build long-term careers in the industry as there are terrific opportunities in construction.”

Lynn, 53, has been with Persimmon for more than 30 years and was keen to prove that age is no barrier to trying something new.

“I am so excited to take on a new challenge and look forward to another 15 productive years with Persimmon,” she said. “I’m currently doing lots of in-house training to fully understand the construction process.”

Chantelle was initially a Persimmon customer, living in one of their houses, before joining the company as a sales advisor.

Regarding her career switch, the 27-year-old added: “Handing over the keys to the first customer to complete their purchase at my development was a very satisfying moment.

“I never envisaged working out on site, but there are amazing opportunities and more options than I ever realised. I think more women should get into the industry – it’s not just a man’s world!”

Persimmon Pathways

  • Career opportunities at all levels
  • Trade apprenticeships
  • Graduate recruitment
  • Comprehensive training programmes
  • Ongoing learning and development