Gage Burton, 19, from Eastleigh and Chris Hewat, 24, from Portsmouth, are working on the £21 million Velmore estate redevelopment programme which Lovell is undertaking for social housing provider First Wessex. The scheme, jointly funded by First Wessex and the Homes and Communities Agency, involves the demolition of 100 1960s-built bungalows and their replacement with 189 new energy-efficient homes built to modern standards.
Sponsored by Lovell, Gage and Chris are working towards the NVQ Level 2 qualification in Maintenance Operations which involves gaining expertise in a number of different construction trades. They attend Eastleigh College on a day release basis as well as gaining practical experience on site at Velmore, supervised by qualified tradespeople. Throughout the two-year apprenticeship programme, they receive support and guidance from the Lovell training department, with a training mentor overseeing their progress.
With construction apprenticeships hard to come by, Gage is delighted to have won a place on the Lovell national apprentice training programme. “For the past two years I’ve been looking for an apprenticeship that would give me the practical training I need so when Lovell took me on I was really pleased,” says Gage. “I’m enjoying working on the Velmore estate scheme, the site team have been welcoming and I’m getting the chance to develop my practical construction experience.”
Chris adds: “I’m lucky to have found this apprenticeship. The standard of work on site is very high and it’s great to have the opportunity to see a home built from start to finish.”
“Creating job and training opportunities through our construction projects is an essential part of what we do,” says Lovell regional director Steve Coombs. “Gage and Chris have made great starts to their training and we look forward to helping them develop their construction careers.”