Bright, young apprentices build their future at Rochester Riverside


Rochester Riverside, Countryside and Hyde’s £419m regeneration scheme that is delivering 1,400 new homes on the banks of the River Medway, is supporting the young people of Medway through an apprenticeship scheme with Joe Brennan Training (JBT).

National Apprenticeship Week runs from the 4th March, and Rochester Riverside is proud of its commitment to apprentices, with five apprentices currently working on-site through the Rochester Riverside Apprentice Training Programme.

On previous apprenticeship programmes between Countryside and JBT over the last five years, 78% of apprentices have completed the apprenticeship programme, with 100% of those subsequently gaining their qualifications and going on to sustainable employment. The programme offers apprentices an invaluable on-site experience, which is a fundamental part of the training. In 2018, all apprentices went on to work with Countryside’s supply chain.​

Jamie Davies is an 18-year old apprentice from Maidstone currently working at Rochester Riverside. He is currently four months into a carpentry apprenticeship and working towards his NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry.

Jamie commented: "I came across the apprenticeship at Rochester Riverside when I was at college and decided to apply, having completed a two-year college course in carpentry. Although I'm from Maidstone, Medway has some of the biggest projects around. Working on such a large-scale development as Rochester Riverside offers the experience I need, and while there's a lot of work to be done, it's rewarding to be part of such a huge regeneration project.

"I'd recommend an apprenticeship to anyone considering it; the hands-on training and working alongside experienced people in the industry is great for development. I already feel like I am a better carpenter than I was and  I'm looking forward to learning more over the next few months."
Andy Fancy, Managing Director, Partnerships South (North and South), Countryside, said: "We're proud to be equipping young people with the skills they need for a career in construction. At Countryside, improving life prospects for local people is at the heart of the regeneration process, and apprenticeship schemes are vital in achieving this. The improvement Rochester Riverside will make to the Medway landscape is huge, and we want the project to have a similarly transformative impact on the career prospects of local residents. 
"Training the future workforce is crucial in any industry, but especially construction, and we are delighted to be continuing our partnership with JBT on another apprenticeship scheme."
Cllr Jane Chitty, Medway Council's Portfolio Holder covering employment and economic development, said: "We are delighted that Rochester Riverside, our flagship housing development, has been able to offer apprenticeships to people of all ages looking to develop their skills. Apprenticeships give people the opportunity to learn something new on the job and in an environment which provides them with work experience and career opportunities. The council works with companies and developments to encourage them to offer apprenticeships, and I would like to thank Countryside for their actions. Rochester Riverside is a fantastic project to be involved with and we wish each and every apprentice all the best for a successful career in their chosen industry.
"Medway Council has its own apprenticeship academy which offers enthusiastic people the opportunity to work in one of its departments, including regeneration, housing, HR and public health. Apprenticeships can have a real impact on someone's life and can be a stepping stone into a great career. National Apprenticeship Week takes place from 4 March this year and we would encourage people of all ages interested in finding out about opportunities in Medway to visit"
David Gannicott, Group Director of Business Development for Hyde, said: "National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the vital importance of apprentices up and down the country. At Rochester Riverside, we're proud to support the future of the construction industry and a thriving Medway through the employment opportunities we're creating."
Rochester Riverside is the region's flagship regeneration scheme, transforming a previously unused site into a new destination over the next 12 years. The development will uniquely feature 10 acres of landscaped and green open space such as play areas and parks, whilst the new 2.5 km public riverside walkway opens up a key part of the riverside.

Countryside apprentices have been working on the first three phases of the scheme, which are currently under construction and will comprise 489 homes and a hotel, along with 2,200 sq m of commercial floorspace. The first wave of new homes is anticipated to complete from June 2019 onwards.

There are now numerous opportunities for young talent in the housebuilding sector, and those interested in apprenticeships at Rochester Riverside should contact Joe Brennan on 01923 770011 or email [email protected]. ​