A College of West Anglia student from Upwell in Norfolk has secured a plumbing apprenticeship with local housing regeneration specialist Lovell.
Nineteen-year-old Billy Smith, from Upwell, will learn his trade working on a £30 million estate regeneration programme which Lovell is undertaking for Freebridge Community Housing at Hillington Square, King’s Lynn.
Billy will combine working under supervision on site in King’s Lynn with attending the local College of West Anglia on a day release basis, studying for a Level 2 NVQ qualification in plumbing.
Billy was put forward for the apprenticeship by the college where he started his NVQ plumbing course in September. Landing his apprentice place with Lovell will enable him to acquire the on-site experience he needs to fully qualify as a plumber.
“I’m over the moon to be starting my apprenticeship with Lovell,” said Billy. “This is a great opportunity for me as they are a big company and it will give me the chance to gain high-quality practical experience.
“ I first became interested in plumbing when I worked on building sites as a labourer – I spoke to the plumbers on site and they told me it was a brilliant career. I like the fact that it involves a wide range of skills: with my training behind me, I will have the chance to go in a number of different directions.”
Colin Davison, director of property at Freebridge Community Housing, says: “Freebridge are really committed to welcoming and developing talent. We are so pleased that Billy has joined the Lovell team, and that he will be able to play his part in regenerating this area of King’s Lynn.”
Billy is supervised by qualified tradespeople on site. His apprenticeship enables him to earn as he learns, with Lovell also funding his training and providing him with tools.
Lovell construction manager Michael Saunders says: “As a company, our goal is to leave a lasting legacy of benefits wherever we work. Providing training and job opportunities locally is very much part of that commitment.
“Billy is highly motivated and we’re delighted to be helping him progress his construction career as a Lovell apprentice.”
Billy has so far been helping the Lovell team carry out preparatory work at the site, ready for the removal of plumbing and heating systems.
Lovell began work in August 2013 on the regeneration programme, which includes kitchen and bathroom replacements for the area’s 320 flats.
Windows and doors, along with insulation work and other improvements such as external cladding, rebuilding of balconies and walkways, construction of new staircases, installation of secure entrances and new lifts and remodelling of garages are all a part of the new plans.
Lovell is a leading provider of affordable housing. The company has expertise in new-build, regeneration, refurbishment as well as providing a full responsive and planned repairs and maintenance service. With offices in England, Scotland and Wales, Lovell offers a unique one-stop shop of services with the ability to build homes, offer a full menu of tenure options and maintenance for life. Lovell is part of Morgan Sindall Group plc, a leading UK construction and regeneration group with revenue of over £2 billion and which operates through five divisions of construction and infrastructure, fit out, affordable housing, urban regeneration and investments.
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