Story Homes apprentices complete TP sponsored house

Published:  03 February, 2012

WHITEHAVEN: A group of young apprentices who work for Story Homes are celebrating this month, having completed an award-winning four-bedroom house on their own, in just one year and on budget.

Travis Perkins, which sponsored the initiative by supplying everything from timber to plumbing, will see its name on screen as the apprentices’ journey is shown in a three-part TV series, to be broadcast on ITV4 starting on March 19. The program follows the team of 22 rookies as they spent a year building the detached property under the guidance of senior Story Homes staff on the superb new Magellan Park development at Whitehaven, Cumbria.

Many of the apprentices aged 16-24 were recruited at a jobs fair in Whitehaven in June 2010, including some school-leavers and unemployed youngsters.

As they learnt their respective trades as bricklayers, joiners, tilers etc, the raw recruits were challenged to build a house on their own, inside 12 months – not only was the house completed 10 weeks earlier than planned, the build was of such a high standard, it is now used as the show home for the development. The apprentices also received an award from the LABC for the standard of their work.

Work on the house started in January 2011 and over the following year, every stage of construction was filmed for the TV series, from the foundations being dug to the house being fitted out by the apprentice plumbers, electricians, painters and decorators from Whitehaven, Workington, Carlisle and Penrith in Cumbria, as well as Canonbie in South West Scotland.

The show home was officially opened on Wednesday 18 January 2012 when Copeland Council leader, Elaine Woodburn, performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Speaking at the ceremony, Story Homes' chief executive, Fred Story, said: "The apprentices have done a fantastic job. I didn't expect them to do it as well as they have done or to have learnt so quickly. It is a great example of what young people can do."

Regional Director for Travis Perkins North, Paul McGill, is passionate about the future of the building trade and worked closely with the Magellan Park project. He comments: “We’re proud to be associated with this project; I think it’s extremely important for companies like Travis Perkins to support young trade and encourage apprenticeships throughout the industry. These apprentices have done an outstanding job and are testament to how effective apprenticeships can be; it’s great to be part of such a positive news story with young people at the heart of it all.”

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