Dandara welcomes young talent to the industry via trainee scheme

The choice between further education or getting started in the world of work can be an overwhelming decision for school leavers, but equipped with previous experience and a passion for new builds, Katie Groves knew that she was ready to pursue a career in property at just nineteen years old.

Born and raised in Westoning, Bedfordshire, Katie always had an interest in the property industry, “I’ve always found the building process really fascinating and loved the idea of working in property since I was young. After finishing school, I knew it was a passion I wanted to explore further”, shared Katie.

After gaining 8 months of practical experience during her weekend job at a local estate agents, Katie knew a career in property was something she wanted to pursue once she finished her A Levels at Redborne Upper School.

Katie said, “A colleague at the estate agency had mentioned the trainee opportunities at Dandara, and I was immediately interested, especially since I’d heard so many positive things about the company. The more I learnt about Dandara's reputation and commitment to building communities, the more excited I became. It was the perfect fit for my career aspirations, and I knew I had to apply.”

Dandara is a leading UK housebuilder known for its commitment to excellence in the property sector and has recently achieved five-star status in the latest Home Builders Federation (HBF) annual New Homes Survey for the third consecutive year. With a proven track record for delivering high-quality homes and providing opportunities for employee development, it was an organisation that Katie was keen to be part of.

“As a natural people person, the Trainee Sales Consultant role was the perfect chance for me to pursue my passion and gain valuable on-the-job experience”, Katie added.

Dandara’s trainee 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 trainee programme runs over a year to 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.

Katie joined Dandara's Northern Home Counties region in July 2022 as a Trainee Sales Consultant. She is currently undergoing a year-long programme, throughout which she will be assessed in quarterly reviews to test her knowledge and progress. At the end of the year, Katie will undergo a final assessment to become a fully qualified Sales Consultant

Discussing her role as a Trainee Sales Consultant, Katie comments: “Every day is so different, but it’s what makes the job so exciting. My day-to-day consists of anything from initiating initial interactions with customers and expanding our database, to managing the buyer’s journey and preparing homes for handover.

“When I joined, my first experience working on site was at The Grove development in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire which is a fantastic community and a great place to begin my training due to it being a highly popular site for walk ins. After 3 months, I started working on both Saxon Park and The Oaks in Bedfordshire which built my confidence and knowledge massively. I’m now responsible for managing Abbots Place in Wavendon with my colleague Rebecca, where I can put everything I’ve learnt so far into practice.

“A lot of trainee schemes don’t offer the same level of hands-on experience as Dandara does, so it’s been brilliant to have the opportunity to work on so many sites throughout the program. Getting stuck in straight away has definitely helped me get up to speed quickly and expand my understanding of various regional markets.”

Since working for Dandara, Katie’s passion for all things property and sales has continued to grow. She says, “Finding the right home for someone and being there for one of the most important decisions in their life is such a privilege. Buyers put all their trust in you, so it’s very rewarding when you finally get them into their dream home.”

Now approaching the nine month mark with Dandara, Katie is pleased with her decision to take on a trainee role and encourages other school leavers and university graduates to consider this as a route into the industry.

“Working as a Trainee Sales Consultant has been very fulfilling so far, I highly recommend the Dandara trainee scheme to other young people interested in the property industry, as it equips you with the necessary tools to thrive in your career in a supportive and challenging environment.”

Looking to the future, Katie shares: “I’m eager to continue working my way up this career ladder. I would love to be a Sales Manager one day, or even branch out into the marketing or planning side of the business – there’s so many exciting options to choose from and with great support from the team, it feels like anything is possible!” Find out more about Dandara's trainee scheme and careers