Chief executive Jeff Fairburn.

Persimmon announces search for 225 recruits

Published:  16 July, 2013

UK housebuilder Persimmon Homes has today announced it is recruiting for 225 young people to join the business.

The new jobs will be spread across Persimmon's 24 regional businesses in England, Wales and Scotland, and include 125 brick-laying and joinery apprentices, 50 trainee sales advisors and 50 graduate/trainee technical staff.

Current chief executive Jeff Fairburn (47), began his own career at the age of 17 on a Youth Training Scheme in the construction industry, and many of the current directors in the business also began their careers straight from school.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to join a thriving business," said Mr Fairburn. "We work hard on our training programmes and enjoy sharing our knowledge with young people and progressing them through the business. You never know, one of these young people may be our future chief executive in years to come!"

A new report carried out by Persimmon has found that young adults may be basing their futures on inaccurate perceptions that could affect their job expectations, salaries and career paths. Despite the staggering increase in fees and lack of prospective job opportunities, Persimmon's research shows that 70% of 12 to 18 year olds still hope to go to university.

The research conducted shows that over six in 10 (61%) young adults aged 12 to 18 believe that going to university will help them to secure a job more easily. Contradicting this, the latest unemployment figures published by government show that 950,000 young adults in the UK are still out of work, and further studies show competition is so fierce that employers receive 56 applications for each graduate vacancy.

Although there has been a positive increase in the number of young adults now starting their career as an apprentice, research shows that there are still overwhelming numbers of 12 to 18 year old across the UK who are unaware about apprenticeships or have misconceived perceptions about the benefits they offer.

One in 10 young adults admit to having no idea about what an apprenticeship is, nearly a fifth (19%) think apprenticeships are suited to those who are not “smart enough” to go to university, 13% believe apprenticeships require someone to work for free and nearly a quarter (24%) are under the impression that they are only available for a small selection of industries.

Mr Fairburn believes that being uneducated about apprenticeships as a career option leaves young adults with fewer opportunities and may hold them back from meeting their career goals.

"My own experience of starting work at 17 has been a positive one,” he said. “We're delighted to be giving young people the opportunity to join us."

Young people can find out more by visiting

Persimmon's recruitment drive comes just a few weeks after the business announced an update ahead of its half-year results, which will be released on 20 August 2013. The group legally completed 5,022 new homes in the first six months of 2013, a 7% increase on the first half of 2012. The government's Help to Buy share equity scheme has generated a positive response from prospective homebuyers, bringing additional momentum to the traditionally stronger spring sales season.

Persimmon's forward sales are 19% ahead of this time last year. At 30 June the value of forward sales was circa £920m (2012: £774m). Private sales forward revenue was circa 24% ahead of last year while the value of housing association forward sales increased by circa 10%.

The company has opened 90 sites in the first half of the year and plans to open a further 85 in the second half of the year.

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