Kane and Kyle Reynolds, DPH Construction and Keepmoat

In October 2022 twins Kyle and Kane Reynolds were looking forward to starting their careers working on Keepmoat sites as bricklayers with DPH Construction, but an unexpected challenge arose.

Kane and Kyle Reynolds, DPH Construction and Keepmoat
Kane and Kyle Reynolds
DPH Construction and Keepmoat


We spoke to Dean Hogarty, Geoff Scott and Colin Timney to find out how DPH Construction, Keepmoat and NHBC worked collaboratively to find a way forward that benefited everyone.

Due to DPH Construction’s ongoing commitment to taking on bricklaying apprentices the company had used most of its apprenticeship levy funding for the year, leaving only enough to fund one apprenticeship place when they needed two for twins Kane and Kyle Reynolds.

At a time when the construction sector needs to recruit more people of all ages and backgrounds to join the house-building industry this was potentially going to deny one of these young men the chance to build his career in construction.

But a possible disappointment turned into a story of collective success as the contractor, house builder and NHBC overcame this challenge by sharing expertise and working together to find an alternative solution.

Understanding the skills shortage:

In January 2023 the Construction Skills Network Industry Outlook highlighted the need for an additional 225,000 construction workers in the UK by 2027. This equates to a requirement for 45,000 workers in the construction sector per year, a demanding number against a backdrop of recruitment and training challenges.

NHBC’s own Careers in Construction Update from March 2023 shows that only 9% of young people are ‘definitely consider[ing]’ working in construction despite the wide range of opportunities available. When considered alongside the results from a Federation of Master Builders membership survey which found that 45% of builders were currently struggling to recruit bricklayers, it becomes clear that the house-building industry must look at ways to attract more people to bricklaying, other skilled trades and specialist roles.

Thankfully apprenticeships offer a practical and cost-effective route into the construction industry and, since its inception in 2016, the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy is in place to support this. However as a levy-payer cannot carry over any unused allowance into the next tax year funds may be lost, unless levy paying companies can use their remaining funds supporting supply chain or another partnered business through levy transfer.

Leveraging levy:

The Apprenticeship Levy is an amount paid at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s annual pay bill. As an employer you must pay Apprenticeship Levy each month if you have an annual pay bill of more than £3 million or meet other conditions. The good news is that if you pay the Apprenticeship Levy you get funds to spend on training and assessing your apprentices and the government will also add 10%.

Since September 2021 large employers that pay the Apprenticeship Levy can choose to transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year to other businesses to support their apprenticeship training and assessment.

So, thanks to NHBC’s knowledge and expertise around levy payments in relation to apprenticeships offered at the bricklaying hubs, including the one in Newcastle Kane and Kyle now attend, Colin Timney at NHBC was able to advise DPH Construction that Keepmoat might be able to help this company’s ambition to support both twins’ aspirations.

Dean Hogarty, CEO of DPH Construction explained “We’re proud to support young people coming into construction and an apprenticeship at the NHBC training hub in Newcastle was the ideal option for Kane and Kyle. Finding out we only had enough levy left to support one place was heart-breaking – we had to try and find another way and thanks to the advice of Colin at NHBC and Keepmoat’s support we have! I’m delighted that both of them are now undertaking their apprenticeships and I’m proud when they’re out on site with us supporting Keepmoat’s build program.”

Geoff Scott, Social Value Manager at Keepmoat added “We were approached by DPH Construction about potential levy transfer to support Kyle and Kane. It was important to us to support our subcontractors, and it was the right thing to do. It’s imperative that everyone in the house-building industry works together to address the skills shortage, and this was one small way we could bring more apprentices into the industry and ensure both young men got the same opportunity. We look forward to seeing them both working on our sites and progressing in their careers.”

Building careers in construction: 

NHBC became a registered apprenticeship provider in 2020 and opened its first training hub for bricklaying in Tamworth in May 2021, with further hubs in Newcastle and Cambridge and another opening in Hull later this year.

NHBC took a fresh approach to its training hubs by focussing on what the house-building industry needed and is proud to offer apprenticeships that support the development of individuals and help house builders begin to address the skills gap.

Colin Timney, Principal Trainer and Assessor at the NHBC training hub in Newcastle said “Kane and Kyle are great bricklaying apprentices and will be an asset to our industry. I’m so glad that we could all work together to find a way to support them both at a time when we need to be training as many people as possible. It is great to be able to work with house builders and contractors to ensure we have skilled tradespeople to support the house-building industry and deliver much-needed high-quality new homes.”

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