In response to demand for new homes across England reaching an all-time high and the need for 2.2 million construction workers amid the labour shortage*, independent housebuilder Dandara has just launched an innovative new management trainee scheme. The scheme offers training with its Northern Home Counties division, aiming to equip newcomers to the industry with the skills and qualifications they need for the future. With an expanding workforce, the division is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing within the company.
The scheme offers job-hunters the chance to train in roles ranging from site management, quantity surveying, planning and civil engineering, through to land buying, sales and marketing. The programme runs over a two or three-year period, depending on the qualification, and enables trainees to learn on the job as well as study for a wide range of professional qualifications via day release, block release and evening and weekend courses.
With the average student debt now running at more than £40,000, the scheme also offers staff a way to fast track into a thriving industry without being burdened by debt – as long as they stay with Dandara for two years after finishing the traineeship, all their tuition and qualifications will be free of charge and they will also earn a wage all the while they are studying and learning on the job.*
Rebecca Reynolds, 20, was the first trainee to join the Northern Home Counties division and has recently completed the Sales Advisor trainee scheme. Having always been drawn to construction due to her parents’ frequent renovation of properties, she was keen to get the experience needed to get started in the industry.
Rebecca commented, “Since my parents own rental properties, I have always had an interest in the sector and I knew of Dandara through word-of-mouth. Initially I wanted to apply for a role as a sales advisor with Dandara, but, being only 19 at the time, I was conscious of the fact that I had a lot to learn about the industry and no real experience. I then heard about the trainee scheme through a family member, so immediately applied for the trainee sales advisor role - it was a perfect fit for me!”
Rebecca worked at the housebuilders The Grove development in Haddenham as well as its Copsewood development in Potton during her training.
“Being a practical learner, it was hugely beneficial for me to be on-site to learn from my colleagues who had great experience in the industry and it allowed me to gain insight into how everything works” she continued, “I was given great support and set quarterly goals to work towards so I knew what I needed to learn and it wasn’t too overwhelming. Everyone I worked with at Dandara went above and beyond to ensure I learned as much as possible and progressed in my role – I really felt part of the team.”
The scheme encourages hands-on experience, with trainees interacting with clients and learning about site management from the get-go. She comments: “One of my favourite parts of the trainee programme was how involved you get to be in the business from the beginning. With schemes like this, sometimes you can end up doing quite menial tasks but I was able to get stuck-in straight away and build a rapport with customers.”
Rebecca recently completed her training, and will soon be part of the team launching Dandara’s Saxon Park development in Biddenham, which will deliver 256 homes. Dandara continues to support her as she works her way up with the aim of reaching a sales management position.
Rebecca encourages those considering the scheme to take the leap, “Just go for it!”, she advised, “If you’re passionate and determined to succeed, you will. It’s a great opportunity to learn so don’t be afraid to ask questions – it will help you achieve in the long term.”
Simon Pendlebury, Sales and Marketing Director for Dandara Northern Home Counties, commented: “The demand for homes across the UK has never been higher, the industry is thriving and as a result Dandara is growing rapidly. We are keen to identify new talent amongst young people and career changers and offer a path into the industry. We look forward to investing in more people like Rebecca and supporting their development as part of our team.”
The scheme includes a wide range of different level training opportunities covering every aspect of the business to make the programme as accessible as possible. For more information about the scheme or to apply, please visit: https://www.dandara.com/about-us/careers/management-trainee-scheme.