Parent Case Study

David and Harvey Cole: NHBC's Apprenticeship Scheme

David and Harvey Cole: NHBC's Apprenticeship Scheme
David and Harvey Cole
Redrow Homes

For a young person leaving school can be a demanding time for them and for their parents, carers and guardians too; balancing the end of compulsory education, new opportunities that may be available and considering future career paths is not easy.

That’s why we spoke with David Cole, father of Harvey who was determined to pursue a career in bricklaying, to understand more about why Harvey chose an apprenticeship with Redrow Homes and NHBC.


Harvey knew he wanted to look at a practical career and one that offered some stability and security through ongoing demand. As there was a family member already working as a bricklayer his dad David was able to discuss the pros and cons of the trade with him, and Harvey remained keen on this career path.

Finding an apprenticeship

Once Harvey had decided bricklaying was the right choice for him, he proactively contacted some building companies and colleges in his area to find out what opportunities were available.

Harvey was considering a longer bricklaying course lasting 33 months with a single day release each week at a local college but sadly, due to Covid and a resulting backlog, this option did not work out.

However, Harvey was not deterred and instead looked at an accelerated apprenticeship option with Redrow Homes, however it meant travelling to the NHBC training hub in Tamworth, Staffordshire and staying away from home for a week at a time.

Being away from home

Young people can be mature, but at 16 years old they are not legally adults and being away from home by yourself for a week can be tough at any age. Understandably Harvey’s parents were concerned about this and the long journey from Portsmouth up to Tamworth, but they wanted to find a way to support Harvey’s ambitions.

David explains

"As parents we were quite concerned about the distance and the time away from home by himself. It wasn’t our preference at the time, but we knew this was something Harvey really wanted to do, so we spoke with Redrow Homes and NHBC and agreed that we could try the first residential week and see how he got on.

Harvey stayed in a Premier Inn and there was a welfare person nearby that checked on him. I think Harvey found it hard at first, but he’s loved learning to be a bricklayer and he’s gained so many other skills as well, like working with other people, understanding the importance of deadlines and teamwork. He’s really matured throughout the apprenticeship and I think the whole experience has given him more confidence too."

A fantastic achievement

Thanks to Redrow Home’s support, his training at the NHBC Bricklaying hub and his own hard graft Harvey has completed his apprenticeship. He is now a qualified bricklayer at the age of just 18 with a bright career ahead of him.

David said

"Me and Harvey’s mum are both over the moon for him. It’s a fantastic achievement and we’re really happy that he’s worked hard and learned a skill he can support himself with for years to come. As parents we were worried at first, but he’s done so well and we are so, so proud of him."

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