From education to employment

Vistry supports women to succeed in the construction industry through degree apprenticeships

vistry group of 3 women

Degree apprenticeships are helping three women progress within their careers in the construction industry.

Lauren Ranson, Lauren Sharp and Chantelle Jacobs are all currently working for Vistry’s Eastern region and studying construction management at Anglia Ruskin University as part of Vistry’s apprenticeship programme.

Chantelle, 35, is working as a trainee assistant site manager at Coggeshall Mill in Essex, while Lauren Sharp, 27, is a trainee quantity surveyor, and Lauren Ranson, also 27, is a trainee technical co-ordinator, both based at the regional head office in Chelmsford.

Lauren Sharp was already employed by Vistry, where she’s worked for the past six years as a commercial assistant when she applied for the apprenticeship to develop her career. Lauren Ranson, meanwhile, was previously working in customer services for the past ten year, having studied journalism at university. While Chantelle came from a job as a resident liaison officer, working on housing improvements for councils and housing associations.

They are all finding the opportunity of getting on-site experience while studying for their degree incredibly valuable.

Lauren Ranson said:

“Being able to get hands on experience is a really useful way to develop my knowledge and understanding. When I took on the role it was completely out of my comfort zone but I was excited to learn something new and turn it into a career.”

“My role is exciting because it is varied and challenging which gives me the opportunity to develop my professional and personal development skills, which is helping me to succeed in my apprenticeship.”

Each of the apprentices spends a day a week at university, with the rest of the week working on site, and have found that Vistry has been supportive in helping them manage to juggle the combination of work and study.

Lauren Sharp said:

“It can be a challenge as you are having to manage assignments and work deadlines alongside managing everyday life. The managers always check to see if I am coping with the workload given.”

Chantelle, who has returned to education after 15 years, said she chose Vistry for her apprenticeship largely because of its reputation as a company which offered a supportive environment and career development opportunities for all.

She said:

“It can be hard for a woman in construction, as it is a predominantly male-run sector and is seen as being part of a man’s world. This can often make it a struggle for a woman to progress in this industry.

My research into Vistry showed strong values in their workplace, showing equality and fair treatment. I saw they have progression opportunities available for everyone no matter what level they are at. This impressed me, as not everywhere offers this.”

Lauren Sharp added:

“The managers training me have given me trust and responsibilities throughout my time here. I have been told that there is a clear route of progression for me after my apprenticeship. This motivates me to move up the work ladder here which is exactly what I want.”

Lauren Ranson added:

“I have seen nothing but support from everyone I work with, from teachers on the course to the staff here at Vistry. Everyone is always happy to answer any questions and guide you down the right path.

“When my apprenticeship comes to an end, I will want to stay in Vistry and progress in the technical role I am already in. The apprenticeship so far has made me feel much more prepared.” 

For now, the three are enjoying the roles they have with the housebuilder.

Chantelle said:

“Seeing a site go from mud to an actual home that somebody will live in, and knowing that you helped out in creating that home, is a great feeling. Seeing all the hard work pay off really is the most rewarding thing about this job.”

Vistry Eastern is part of Vistry Group, which includes the Bovis Homes, Linden Homes and Countryside Homes brands.

For more information on Vistry and its apprenticeship programme, visit here.

Related Articles