Builders merchant Travis Perkins sponsored a group of young construction apprentices to build a four-bedroom house on their own, in just one year and on budget. Their experiences will be featured on TV next month.
Travis Perkins sponsored the initiative by supplying everything from timber to plumbing.
The TV programme follows the team of 22 rookies as they spent a year building the detached property under the guidance of senior Story Homes staff on the new Magellan Park development at Whitehaven, Cumbria.
Many of the apprentices aged 16-24 were recruited at a jobs fair in Whitehaven in June 2010, including some school-leavers and unemployed youngsters.
Work on the house started last January and over the following year, every stage of construction was filmed for the TV series, from the foundations being dug to the house being fitted out by the apprentice plumbers, electricians, painters and decorators from Whitehaven, Workington, Carlisle and Penrith in Cumbria, as well as Canonbie in South West Scotland.
The show home was officially opened on Wednesday 18 January 2012 when Copeland Council leader, Elaine Woodburn, performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Speaking at the ceremony, Story Homes’ chief executive, Fred Story, said: “The apprentices have done a fantastic job. I didn’t expect them to do it as well as they have done or to have learnt so quickly. It is a great example of what young people can do.”
Regional director for Travis Perkins North, Paul McGill worked closely with the Magellan Park project. He said: “We’re proud to be associated with this project; I think it’s extremely important for companies like Travis Perkins to support young trade and encourage apprenticeships throughout the industry. These apprentices have done an outstanding job and are testament to how effective apprenticeships can be; it’s great to be part of such a positive news story with young people at the heart of it all.”
The first of three one-hour episodes of the television series will be broadcast on ITV4 at 9pm on Monday 19 March 2012. The programme’s title has yet to be confirmed.