Seven under-graduates are heading back to university for their final year of study after 12 months of valuable industry experience with Redrow Homes. During that time they’ve worked in different disciplines at Redrow housing divisions around the country, undertaken special projects and taken part in a number of team challenges.
The undergraduates came together for one final experience taking part in a one-day Management and Leadership Challenge in Sutton Park , near Birmingham . The 2,000 acre nature reserve features numerous lakes, rivers, forests and heathland and the Redrow participants undertook a number of physical, mental and strategic challenges, all designed to test their leadership, problem-solving and team working skills.
Richard Beadsmoore, group training and development manager for Redrow, said: “The challenges are designed to test the skills required to lead and work as a team effectively, such as communication, planning, motivation and assertiveness. We run the course with Huw Evans, one of our technical project managers in South Wales , who is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army and a Sandhurst Accredited trainer.”
One of the winning team, James Morgan, 21, from Llanelli, said: “The outdoor activity day enabled me to practise techniques I had been taught previously and to improve both leadership and team working skills.”
James is now returning to Cardiff University , for the final year of a degree in City and Regional Planning. He’s spent his placement year working mainly in the land department at Redrow Homes (South Wales) in Cardiff , where he experienced negotiating with landowners and dealing with planning applications and appeals. He also had hands-on experience in both the sales and technical disciplines.
“It’s difficult to pick out the main things learnt during my placement but things like time management, leadership and team working all stand out as “key skills”. The understanding of Redrow as a company, the planning process and the housing market will improve my studies during my final year of university. I also have more confidence in my knowledge and ability. I have thoroughly enjoyed and valued my placement and would relish the chance to return to Redrow once I graduate in July 2013,” James added.
Josh Ward-Jones, 21, from Solihull, is returning to the University of Reading to complete his BSc honours degree in Building Surveying, after spending four months each in the construction, commercial and technical departments of Redrow Homes (Midlands), in Tamworth . This included working as an acting assistant site manager at two Redrow developments in Worcester.
“The site experience was really invaluable. I was able to see first-hand how the homes are built from the ground up. They teach you the theory at university but you can’t beat the real thing,” Josh said.
“I’ve improved my communication skills, my CAD skills and my technical knowledge immensely during the past year and experiences like the Management and Leadership Challenge were great for developing team skills. All of this will hopefully give me the edge over other graduates when we enter the job market at the end of our studies.”
As these students prepare to return to university to finish their studies, Redrow has already recruited seven new under-graduates for the 12 months ahead, as part of its ongoing commitment to the training and development of young people.
In addition, five post-graduates are 60% of the way through an intensive 15 month, multi-discipline training programme, with six more expected to begin this September; while Redrow’s ratio of apprentices to employed staff (1:16) is believed to be one of the best in the industry. Last year Redrow recruited 24 new apprentices, bringing the total number of young people learning a trade within the group to 70. A further 30 apprentices are being recruited this summer, including 10 office administration apprentices as part of a new bespoke training programme.
Redrow also remains committed to investing in and developing its existing workforce via training@redrow, a dedicated arm of the business in Tamworth , Staffs. In excess of 2,200 training days were delivered to directly employed staff over the last 12 months, helping Redrow to be named one of the UK construction industry’s top 61 employers in Building magazine’s Good Employer Guide. Judges described career progression as one of Redrow’s “standout benefits”.
For more on career opportunities with Redrow and for details of their new homes around the UK visit the Redrow website.