Leading housebuilder Lovell, working in partnership with Repton Property Developments, has won a Community Enrichment Leading Lights Award 2023 for its educational partnership with Norfolk-based schools academy, The Wensum Trust. The awards ceremony, hosted at the distinguished Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, was held on November 27th.
The Leading Lights Awards honour businesses and developments affiliated with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, as well as individuals within the workforce, who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to responsible construction practices: not merely adhering to the codes of practice but going above and beyond its requirements.
Simon Medler, Regional Managing Director at Lovell, expressed his delight. He said: “The partnership between Lovell and The Wensum Trust is extremely important to us and we are thrilled to receive this award. In partnership with Repton Property Developments, we have pledged a long term commitment to the Trust to help reduce the skills shortage and inspire young people into construction. There is real lack of awareness about the opportunities available in construction, and how varied and well paid a career in the industry can be. Our partnership helps to raise this awareness and educates students that you don’t have to go to university to have a flourishing career, if you don’t feel it is right for you.
We want to inspire and encourage young people into construction, and by hosting taster days and showcasing the industry alongside education we have a real opportunity to be able to do so.”
Daniel Thrower, CEO of The Wensum Trust, said:“Working with Lovell we can provide our students with a broad range of skills, open the door to a career in the industry and showcase and educate our students on construction and jobs in the sector including project managers, architects, geologists, environmental science, as well as bricklayers and carpenters.”
Cllr Jane James, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Innovation, said: “Ensuring young people in Norfolk have the right skills and training is good for them, and good for our local economy. We’re working hard to encourage and support programmes such as this, so it’s great that the focused work of the team, and success of this programme, have received this well-deserved national recognition.”
The partnership between Lovell and The Wensum Trust was established with the primary goal of addressing the skills and jobs shortage in the construction sector while also educating young people about the diverse career opportunities it offers. It was initiated through discussion with the trustees of Wensum Trust about supporting curriculum teaching and introducing young people to the range of career options available in one of the most sustainable industries in the region.
This pioneering partnership has enabled the Trust to embed construction into the curriculum of its high schools, supporting teaching and school management teams to deliver work experience, site visits, apprenticeships and careers days to 11 – 16 year olds.
It has also led to the introduction of a revised and much improved sponsored apprenticeship programme, which will continue to leave a positive legacy. This year, Lovell and Repton have welcomed the first two sponsored apprentices from the educational partnership into full time apprenticeship roles on their developments. They have also provided a sponsorship opportunity for a further two students from Acle Academy in 2023/2024.
As part of the educational partnership, Lovell have also supported Acle Academy to extend their curriculum to include a BTec programme in construction, helping to provide long term, stable employment opportunities as well as retaining students.
Lovell is a partnership housing expert and a leading provider of innovative and high-quality residential construction and regeneration developments across the UK, building homes, sourcing land and investing in communities.