As well as transforming an important Stafford neighbourhood, a landmark housing scheme is helping to cement the futures of the next generation of bricklayers.
Employed by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), apprentices Chris Renshaw and Matt Kerr are learning their trade whilst working on a multi-million-pound project in Hesketh Road that’s set to deliver more than 60 affordable homes for the local community.
The 22-year-olds successfully completed a pre-apprenticeship Construction Operative course, run by SARH in partnership with the Shaw Trust, and now spend one day a week at Stafford College working towards recognised NVQ qualifications. At the same time they are learning new skills from workmates at Yarnell Brickwork, contractors on the £6.7 million scheme being delivered by developer Wates Living Space.
Matt, who lives nearby and attended Weston Road High School, said he was proud to be working on new homes that will have such a positive impact on the area where he grew up.
“The apprenticeship has given me a fantastic opportunity to start a career in the construction industry, and it’s fantastic to be working on a project that will make an area I know so well an even nicer place to live.”
Paul Yarnell, a Director at Yarnell Group, commented: “All our bricklayers have been through the apprenticeship process themselves, and I know they get a lot of satisfaction from passing on their skills.”
The development in Hesketh Road involves the creation of 63 modern, energy-efficient homes for rent following the demolition of 54 flats that previously stood on the site, which is on a key route into Stafford town centre.
As well as providing employment opportunities for local people and work for businesses across the region, completion of the scheme will also mark another important milestone for SARH – the 500th new home to be built by the area’s leading landlord.
Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, added: “As we celebrate our tenth anniversary year, there has been a lot of excitement about this project and the benefits it will deliver for the area.
“Whilst meeting local housing needs, this and similar schemes across the area will also provide a major boost to the local economy through the creation of new jobs, training opportunities and the use of local suppliers.
“I’m delighted to see Chris and Matt doing so well on site as the new homes take shape and wish them well in their chosen careers.”