At just 16 years old, apprentice carpenter Tom Elkins has his career path firmly mapped out. He aims to gain his diploma at college, qualify as a carpenter and joiner, work his way up through the ranks and hopefully one day become a site manager for Persimmon Homes.
Tom joined the South Coast region of the business this summer, and is a definitive example of the young men and women that Persimmon is currently investing in: enthusiastic, hardworking, ambitious. Qualities that all big companies expect, but qualities that Persimmon also demands.
When Tom finished school in May, he had already secured his place with Persimmon.
“I did ok in my exams, I got what I needed, but by the time I sat them I already knew I’d got the apprentice role,” said Tom. “I’d been looking on various websites, seen that Persimmon were advertising for apprentices and thought I’d apply. I was really happy to get it.”
Tom attends Basingstoke College of Technology one day a week where he is studying for his Level 1 Diploma and Level 2 NVQ in Carpentry and Joinery. Subjects covered will include safe working practices, building methods, construction technology along with the preparation and use of power tools.
For the other four days a week, he is on site, working with a different mentor each month to guide him through the reality of working on an active building site.
“I absolutely love it,” said Tom. “The guys on site have been really good to me, making me welcome and I’m learning so much. There is no typical week, but for instance this week I’ve been learning how to fit garage doors, trusses and soffits & fascias.”
Picket Twenty is Tom’s current site, a long term development in Andover that will eventually provide around 1,200 new Persimmon and Charles Church homes alongside substantial leisure facilities with an adjacent urban park. A brand new primary school opened on the development this autumn. Just a mile or so from where he lives with his parents, things couldn’t have worked out better.
Most of Tom’s former classmates are at college full time – and quite envious of not only his prospects but his monthly pay packet.
“I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship – earning while you learn is brilliant, and a lot of my mates are jealous. I’m earning about £100 a month which goes up as I gain more modules and again when I’m 18. But I’m not blowing the money: I’m 17 at the end of this month so I’m saving up for a car.
“This was such a good decision for me, and Persimmon have been fantastic. I really see my future with the company. My main focus at the moment is to work hard, pass my course and become a qualified carpenter. But after that who knows? I don’t see why I couldn’t be a site manager one day.”
Tom Moody, construction director at Persimmon Homes South Coast, said young Tom had made an impressive start to his career with the company.
“Tom is an asset to our team. He works hard and constantly goes above and beyond all expectations to get things done.
“Apprenticeships are the perfect opportunity to get work experience while gaining recognised training and qualifications. Persimmon Homes prides itself on offering young people a positive first step on to the career ladder.”