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Undergraduate placements key to securing future talent

FTSE 250 housebuilder Redrow has invested further in a scheme to offer 12-month paid work placements to university students seeking a ‘foot in the door’ to the industry.

Not only does the scheme offer undergraduates the chance to gain vital work experience and build essential knowledge and skills, while earning a salary, it also benefits Redrow by identifying talented future graduates.

Typifying Redrow’s commitment to investing in young people, the annual undergraduate training programme has been running for a number of years and this year the company has taken on nine students nationwide.

It’s already proven to be successful for many who have gone on to take up permanent positions with Redrow after graduating or joined one of Redrow’s post-graduate training schemes.

Former Cardiff University student James Morgan undertook a placement at Redrow South Wales in 2011. After completing his degree in City and Regional Planning, James re-joined Redrow on the company’s graduate rotational programme and has since risen through the ranks to land manager.

He said: “I did my placement with the land and planning team and it proved to be a truly invaluable experience. As someone who was looking to break into the house building industry, this placement gave me the best possible grounding.”

Undergraduate Harry Yates, 21, is just about to complete his year’s work placement with Redrow before returning to Sheffield Hallam University to complete the final year of his degree in Construction Project Management. Redrow has pledged to support Harry during his final year of study and he will return to join the company’s graduate construction management programme.

He said: “I’d only heard good things about Redrow so I applied for a placement. I’ve been based on site shadowing a site manager for most of the year and have been given much more responsibility than I’d anticipated. It’s been a good experience and I’m looking forward to completing my degree and returning as a graduate trainee. I hope to then work my way up to site assistant and then hopefully to site manager.”

Undergraduate students are paid a salary for the period they are with Redrow, and the placements are available in a number of departments including construction, land and planning, commercial, engineering, design and customer services.

Over the course of 12 months, participants learn through practical experience under the guidance of skilled professionals, while being paid a salary at the same time. Participants also benefit from internal training courses and have the chance to participate in one of Redrow’s annual community challenges, which further develop transferable skills such as project-management, negotiation, leadership and teamwork.

Karen Jones, HR director for Redrow Homes said, said: “In an extremely competitive job market, our undergraduate work placement scheme offers university students the opportunity to gain a fantastic grounding within their chosen field and acquire knowledge and skills to benefit them in their future careers.

“Running this type of programme also makes perfect business sense for us as we are meeting and mentoring future graduates at an early stage and often offer permanent roles to the most talented individuals upon completion of their degrees. In an industry that is still facing a skills shortage it gives us an additional edge on the competition when it comes to recruiting. We’ve even taken people on while they are still studying and supported them to complete their degrees on a part-time basis if they choose that path.”

The latest undergraduate recruits will be based at Redrow’s 13 divisional offices and on development sites across England and Wales.

To apply for the 2017 programme, participants must be on a degree course that recognises and supports 12-month industrial placements.

For more on career opportunities with Redrow visit www.redrowcareers.co.uk.


Image: Seven of Redrow’s nine undergraduate recruits who are beginning 12 month placements with the house builder