The housebuilder, which has 24 regional businesses in England, Wales and Scotland, is working with Nordic Focus Training, to retrain people from the Army, Royal Navy and RAF in bricklaying and joinery.
Speaking at the launch, held at one of its developments in Durham, group CEO, Jeff Fairburn, said: “We have worked hard over the course of 2014 to develop this programme to help us meet a shortage of much needed skilled tradesmen across the UK.
“Earlier this year we appointed a dedicated ex-military resettlement specialist, Tommy Watson, to spearhead the programme and we began welcoming the first of our new employees at the start of October. We are already on course to bring 500 new people into the business in 2015 and if our growth continues, we will repeat this in 2016.
“The new recruits are all starting on an 18 month training programme with time spent in the classroom and out on site. Our courses welcome new people every four weeks and based on the recruits we’ve already seen we are very excited with the quality of the candidates and some of them I’m sure will go on to take management positions within the business in the future.”
Persimmon currently employs 3500 people across 24 businesses as well as its head office in York. Alongside trainee bricklayers and joiners, the company is also directly employing other staff with a military background into sales and management roles.
In 2013, Persimmon signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant and all new trainees will be encouraged to be reservists.
Persimmon will build over 13,000 new homes in 2014 and plans to open many more developments in 2015.
“As a business, we appreciate how hard our team works to support our growth and deliver new homes to communities across the UK. Each year hundreds of young new apprentices and trainees join us and I know that the latest ex-service people to join us will be welcomed by everyone.”
Photo: Jeff Fairburn, Brigadier Bibby & soldiers