A leading house builder has strengthened its relationship with Northumberland College through a donation of 10,000 bricks to support the training and assessment of the next generation of construction professionals.

The special delivery was welcomed last week by college Principal Gary Potts in the company of Northumberland County Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, Portfolio Holder for Business, some of the college’s construction apprentices and representatives of Persimmon Homes.

The bricks, enough to build a large three-bedroom house, will be used by students and apprentices for developing the skills needed for a successful career in construction as the industry seeks to attract a new generation of workers to complete much-needed housing projects.

College Principal Gary Potts said: “It is more important than ever that we engage with our employer partners, ensuring that we work together collaboratively to develop local talent in order to bridge current and future skills gaps.

“Persimmon Homes demonstrated their commitment to developing the skills in their workforce and we are delighted to be supporting them to achieve this. We are also really appreciative of the generous donation of bricks that they have made to us that will benefit all of our construction students and apprentices develop the skills they need for a high quality sustainable career in the future.”

Councillor Ploszaj said: “I am really grateful to Persimmon Homes for such a generous donation to Northumberland College. Northumberland County Council is doing everything possible to tackle the skills gap in all industries, including the construction sector. We are extremely proud of our partnership with the college. We also look forward to positively with the College, Persimmon Homes and businesses moving forward.”

Stuart Grimes, Managing Director for Persimmon Homes North East added: “Supporting and developing the next generation of apprentices is an absolute priority for us and the construction industry to meet the well documented need for quality new housing.

“As a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer, we’re proud of the wide range of exciting opportunities we provide young people in the North East.

“Of course, working closely with colleges is absolutely vital to this and we look forward to helping many more young people across the region develop the skills they need to embark upon one of the many fulfilling careers construction has to offer.”

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19