A major theme of this report is how Persimmon is helping to address the "housing deficit". Discussions around this topic focus on issues concerning the availability of land for development, securing planning permission and the ability of prospective purchasers to obtain mortgages. What is often overlooked is the human element – the importance of having sufficient people in place with the requisite skills and motivation at every stage of the process to ensure homes are built to the requisite standards and timescales. Currently, the construction sector is short of skilled labour and there is intense competition for these individuals. Overcoming this particular challenge is central to delivering on the Government's plans to build sufficient homes for the UK's growing population.
Persimmon acknowledges the importance of its employees to its growth over recent years. Without our committed and effective workforce we would have been unable to build the homes and deliver the quality of service our customers expect. We have invested substantially in recruitment and training to ensure that our people can meet the challenges confronting us. In 2015, Persimmon employed an average of 4,188 people, a significant increase on the previous year (2014: 3,453). Around 27% of the workforce was female (2014: 29%). The total number of days' training provided to our workforce during the year increased by 29% with each worker receiving, on average, nearly 2.4 days of training.
At the same time Persimmon has greatly expanded its trade apprenticeship and trainee schemes, which offer valuable training experience, job security and great career prospects. During 2015 we employed 185 bricklaying and joinery apprentices and a further 9 apprentices working in office based roles. These were in addition to the 125 ex armed forces personnel who joined our "Combat to Construction" programme – see below. We also employed 261 graduates, trainee sales advisors and trainee technical staff.
In 2013 Persimmon signed up to the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, a voluntary statement that acknowledges publicly our support for the Armed Forces. We also decided to explore ways in which we could provide more tangible support for the talented and committed men and women who leave the Armed Forces each year, who could help increase our pool of skilled workers. The result was our Combat to Construction scheme, which enables service leavers to re-train into a rewarding second career within the house building industry and capitalise on the skills and experience they've already acquired during their service careers.
In 2015 Persimmon retained the Accreditation in Employment and Customer Service at the silver level by Innovatec AS. This accreditation has been awarded to the whole Group and enables us to demonstrate that we meet and exceed current equality legislation across all areas of our business, consistent with the provisions of The Equality Act 2010.
You can read more about our apprenticeship and trainee schemes and the training and development we provide by clicking on the links below.
Apprentices and trainees
Combat to Construction
Training & development