Blog: Apprenticeship Initiative SECBE Awards 2019 finalist - Crest Nicholson

16 April 2019

sponsored by CoTrain

SECBE Awards

The Crest Nicholson Apprenticeship Programme provides participants with real, meaningful exposure to every aspect of housebuilding. Its real success is the support from senior figures and line managers ensuring graduates obtain accelerated development equipping them with the right industry skills.

They judge the success of their programme by the numbers retained after their two years. In a market with plenty of choice, 100% of their professional and technical apprentices have been retained since September 2017 (Crest Nicholson does not employ its own labour).

Apprentices are encouraged among both young people and across the wider business, with more than 34% of those on apprenticeships or training aged over 21. Nearly a fifth of the Crest Nicholson workforce is now on a formal career development programme, and their 2020 apprenticeship targets have been met ahead of schedule.

Crest Nicholson’s continued investment in skills grew 30% in 2018 and currently stands at £1.3m per annum. Average spend per employee equated to £494 in 2014 and grew to £653 in 2017, demonstrating the ongoing commitment to employee investment and upskilling. Equal access to education is a priority to the company. At no cost to the apprentice, Crest Nicholson funds 100% of the training schemes on offer, both to entry level candidates and upskilling and offering advanced qualifications up to NVQ level 7 – the equivalent of a masters. And their commitment as an equal opportunities employer has paved the way for women in the industry. 

Apprentice feedback:

Site Manager Charlotte Collins has been working with Crest Nicholson for 8 years and joined as a carpentry apprentice at 18.  After studying for a BTEC in Construction specialising in Roofing and Carpentry, she interviewed with Crest Nicholson division commenting, “if I had to go back, I would definitely choose to do an apprenticeship all over again. It’s been a fantastic learning curve; Crest Nicholson builds a variety of different types of homes giving young people who are passionate about property development the chance to gain an understanding of the industry and broaden their skillset, whilst being paid.” 


  • Crest Nicholson’s diversity figures show 9% of women are taking up placements meaning they are a leader in equality paving the way for a more diverse workforce
  • Crest Nicholson has received industry awards for our HR and training work including being named the ‘Top Graduate Employer to work for – Property 2017’ at The Job Crowd Awards. We also won the ‘Skills Initiative of the Year 2017’ for our Site Management Academy at the Housebuilder Awards
  • In 2018 Crest Nicholson was awarded a commendation at the Princess Royal Training Awards for ‘Tackling the skills Gap’ for their Delivering Professional Excellence (DPE) Training initiative. Crest Nicholson was the only housebuilder to receive the Princess Royal Training Award. Given in in recognition of its internal training aimed at tackling the building industry skills gap, the awards are accolades for UK employers that link skills and development needs to business performance. The awards are based on meeting three quality hallmarks – that training is integral to the company, that it is designed and delivered effectively and efficiently and that it has an impact on the business and its employees.

For more details:

Visit Crest Nicholson

The SECBE 2019 Apprenticeship Initiative Award is sponsored by CoTrain.

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