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16 years old and already making Vistry

We caught up with Harley Leonard, who is busy carving out a promising career during his three-year apprenticeship at Vistry’s The Quarters @ Redhill. He first joined us for work experience at 15, gaining insight into what it’s like to be an electrician, a bricklayer, a plumber, and a carpenter. He’s currently attending Shrewsbury College every Monday as part of his apprenticeship.

“With carpentry, there seemed to be a lot of different jobs to be done so that you were not just doing the same tasks over and over again. I like working with my hands and being outside rather than being stuck inside all day. Some of my friends are now studying for their A-levels, but I am so happy to be learning my trade and to be paid as well. They might go on to university and have to take on a loan while I will have been working and earning for years.

I am working in a team of three, and my colleagues are always there for me, taking the time to patiently show me how to perform new tasks and to explain processes to me. When I first started, I didn’t know much and was only able to tackle basic jobs such as putting on skirting boards and installing loft hatches, but I have progressed and can now get involved with putting up stud walls and hanging doors.

Everyone on site has been brilliant, which includes the site manager Stephen Thomas, who has let me know that his door is always open if I need to chat with him about my role or need to sort something out for my apprenticeship course. I am really looking forward to finishing the college course and becoming a fully qualified carpenter. My ambition is to stay here at Vistry and to go into management and become a site manager. That would be great.”

According to Stephen Thomas, site manager at The Quarters @ Redhill: “Harley is a perfect example of how the apprenticeship scheme allows us to find the best talent, where we can provide them with training and encourage them to grow while they progress and reach their full potential.”

We’re passionate about developing sustainable new homes and communities across all sectors of the UK housing market, but it’s only possible thanks to our people and their skills. You can make Vistry by progressing further – we’ll help you achieve your potential. Learn more here.