Apprentice with passion for carpentry urges women to

A carpentry apprentice has urged women to consider a career in construction as she reflects on an action-packed year working within the industry.

Emily Baker, an apprentice with Persimmon Home’s Cornwall and West Devon business, joined the company last autumn and is working on the Trevethan Meadows site in Liskeard while studying at City College Plymouth.

Emily Baker

Emily opted for an apprenticeship with Persimmon as she felt the firm’s programme was the best way to learn the skills and knowledge required to becoming a fully qualified carpenter.

The company has recently established its ‘Target 50’ initiative, which is an ambition to recruit 50 female apprentices or technical trainees into construction-related roles across the country this year.

The scheme forms part of Persimmon’s 50th anniversary celebrations and supports its commitment to building and retaining a more diverse workforce.

Commenting on her journey in the industry so far, Emily said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year as an apprentice at Persimmon, learning how to use all the different tools and devices on site, and I also love the college aspect of the apprenticeship.

“Carpentry is all about problem solving, using your brain, thinking logically and systematically, which adds variety to the skills you learn and use.

“My tutors have been excellent and provide us with plenty of exposure to all aspects of carpentry which stands me in good stead for my time on site.

“Whether it be 1st fixing with studwork, battening and staircases to timber framing and roofing, every day is different.

“I’m delighted to have opted for a career with Persimmon and I’d urge any woman who is considering a career in the construction industry to follow their dreams.”

As part of the apprenticeship, Emily is supported by the company’s regional apprenticeship manager, Andy Wallis, who is based in the Plymouth office.

Andy’s role is to ensure Emily gains experience in as many elements of site carpentry as possible, monitoring her progress both on site and in college, and providing support throughout the course of her apprenticeship.

Apprentices in trade positions generally start on a Level Two apprenticeship, which lasts between just over two years and when this is complete, Persimmon supports apprentices to complete their Level Three, which leads them to their full qualification.

Cornwall and West Devon’s regional apprenticeship manager, Andy Wallis, said: “My role is to ensure that apprentices such as Emily have an amazing apprenticeship journey and that Persimmon supports them to reach their career goals.

“Emily has excellent potential as a carpenter, she loves getting stuck in and testing her strengths and learning practical skills that she can adapt and evolve into her own style and creativity.

“We have been delighted to have Emily on board in Cornwall and West Devon and Persimmon will continue to support her journey in the months and hopefully years to come.”

While the industry as a whole has slowly been making progress in building a more diverse workforce, the company acknowledges there’s a long way to go.

Persimmon currently employs over 300 apprentices or construction-related technical trainees – a number that is growing as the company increases the number of apprentices hired every year.

The number of female apprentices and trainees has also increased in recent years, but the company wants to go further.

Commenting on Emily and the firm’s Target 50 initiative, Persimmon Cornwall and West Devon managing director, Adam Church, said: “Successful companies reflect the customers and communities they serve and embrace new ideas and ways of working.

“That’s why we want to attract, retain and develop the best talent from as wide a pool as possible – providing an environment that encourages innovation and creativity to meet the big challenges society faces, such as harnessing new technologies to build more sustainable communities and achieve net zero.

“We want to actively encourage more motivated and driven female apprentices and technical trainees like Emily to join us in construction roles and build a successful career at Persimmon.”

For information on how to register your interest in Persimmon Home’s Target 50 scheme, visit the dedicated page on the company’s jobs website: www.persimmonhomes.com/jobs/target50.