A national homebuilder is continuing to lay foundations for success in the South West with continued growth, and commitment to a long-term apprenticeship scheme.
With regional offices already in the Midlands and the South East, Bovis Homes opened its Exeter office in 2013 with just six members of staff.
Now, with more than 100 staff based in Exeter and its surrounding developments in locations like Cranbrook, Ottery St Mary, Dawlish and Teignmouth, the national homebuilder is expanding its apprenticeship scheme, firmly concreting its position in the South West with the promise of investment in staff and continued growth.
Amongst the small team to originally make the move to Exeter in 2013 was Managing Director David Farley, who remembered: “With the economy and outlook improving it was time for us to be in amongst the growth and talent that is here and make a name for ourselves in the South West.
“Since the move, we have grown rapidly but have had a strategic plan in place from day one to ensure we took on the right staff at the right time. Like most businesses, our success is built on the quality of the people and we have developed a team which is exceptionally talented and creative, which is the fundamental reason why we have become a genuine force in the area.
“We seek to be the employer of choice by creating an environment in which people can develop and thrive and, above all, enjoy coming to work and being part of a successful team. Many of our current team joined us when we started out and have been promoted to better positions, thus genuinely sharing in the success. We continue to recruit and have a high staff retention rate.”
The apprenticeship scheme is a key part of the Bovis Homes story in the South West, with talented and committed local youngsters being brought into the mix and given opportunities to develop within the company.
Catherine Hiscox, another of those original six, who now heads up the apprenticeship scheme, said: “We are now taking on two office-based apprentices and five site-based apprentices every year in the Exeter area. We move them around departments as much as we can so that they get diverse experience in different job roles. This enables them to make an informed decision about what role suits them best and which roles they enjoy the most.
“Our aim is to attract youngsters who have real potential and then offer them full-time positions once they have successfully completed their apprenticeships. We invest time and resources into ensuring all our staff are supported and offered progression opportunities. For us, it’s not always about qualifications, but about training enthusiastic people to give them the skills they need to do a job well.
She continued: “There are skill shortages throughout our industry and it is vital that we create an environment and a scheme that encourages young people to come into our business. Many of the people who have successfully completed our apprenticeship schemes are still working on our developments, either as Bovis Homes’ site management or for our contractors.”
Based on Sowton Industrial Estate, the Bovis Homes Exeter office is ideally located to manage the company’s sites throughout Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. David said: “We have a central location here in Exeter that provides easy travel routes to all of our sites. Some of our team do have to travel a lot, but being right next to the M5 makes that easier. Being based in Exeter has also enabled us to recruit from the local talent pool, which is very important to us. We have never had any problems filling positions at any level as there is great local workforce on our doorstep.”
Maureen Gori-De-Murden, Senior Economy and Tourism Officer, Exeter City Council said: “Bovis Homes have been through an impressive period of growth since opening their Exeter office and have played a major part in the delivery of Cranbrook. Their commitment to the area and promise to take on, train and support more apprentices is absolutely fantastic. The firm is already a large employer in the area, so it’s fantastic to see that they will continue to grow their Exeter team, providing excellent opportunities for anyone looking to go into the construction industry.”
For more information about Bovis Homes visit www.bovishomes.co.uk or follow @BovisHomes. For more information about relocating a business to Exeter, visit www.investinexeter.co.uk or follow @investinExeter.