Linmere developers mark National Apprenticeship Week by celebrating on-site trainees

WTP trainee quantity surveyor Will Kelly is one of the Linmere apprentices being celebrated during National Apprenticeship Week 

  • The creators of the new Linmere village next to Houghton Regis are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, whose theme for 2022 is, appropriately, ‘build the future.'

Several of the contractors working on the 650-acre development have been employing apprentices, many from the local area, who are learning important construction skills which will help them advance in their careers.

The annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, run by the government's Education and Skills Funding Agency, showcases how apprenticeships have helped employers of all sizes and sectors, and people of all ages and backgrounds.

The week focuses on encouraging employers to promote the outstanding work in which their apprentices have been involved over the past year as well as highlighting the many benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses and to the individuals they appoint.

Two of the Linmere contractors joining the celebrations this week are construction firm Ashe, which carried out the design and build of the flagship community hub the Farmstead which was completed last month, and quantity surveyor WTP.

Around seven per cent of Ashe's workforce at Linmere and on other projects in the region are apprentices, and the firm aims to increase this figure to ten per cent during the coming year. At Linmere these include those working in steelwork, structural engineering, mechanical services, wall panelling, roofing and carpentry.

WTP's trainee quantity surveyor Will Kelly, who has been working with the company since October 2019, has recently completed a degree with the University College of Estates Management Reading via the apprenticeship route, and is currently working towards his chartership.

Linmere development director Ben Phillips said: "We're delighted to be playing a role in supporting people to train for a rewarding career through working with contractors who are dedicated to taking on apprentices as part of a structured training programme."

Around 5,150 homes will be built over the next 15 years by the Linmere consortium which comprises master planners Lands Improvement, Aviva Investors, and the Diocese of St Albans.

A third of the overall Linmere site will not be developed and will be managed in a way that allows natural habitats to thrive.

Linmere will see the creation of two new state of the art primary schools and an extension to Houghton Regis' existing Thornhill Primary school. A ten-form secondary school will open in 2022/3.