Holiday homes market leader Willerby has launched its biggest ever apprenticeship recruitment drive.
Willerby is taking on more than 30 apprentices across a range of roles, in what will be the largest single intake in the company’s 75-year history and three times as many as on any previous occasion.
The move reflects the rapid growth of the business, driven by the increasing popularity of holidays in the UK, and is further evidence of Willerby’s strong commitment to developing new talent.
It comes after Willerby launched a major recruitment drive in April for a new production line at its Hull headquarters in response to surging demand for high-quality holiday homes.
Almost all of the 100 roles for the new production line, which is due to open early next month, have now been filled, taking Willerby’s workforce to more than 1,100.
Willerby currently produces 7,500 holiday homes, lodges and residential park homes each year and the new facility will increase capacity to more than 8,000.
The latest roles include Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeships in carpentry, finance, engineering, IT, electrical, marketing and customer care. The new apprentices are due to start in September.
In addition to its existing relationships with local training providers, Willerby will be partnering with Hull Business Training Centre and East Riding College to deliver the apprenticeships.
Willerby CEO Peter Munk said: “Our business continues to grow and this huge intake of apprentices is the next step in our drive to meet increasing demand for holiday homes, as well as developing fresh new talent for our business and industry.
“More and more people are now discovering the significant benefits of staycations and short breaks in the UK and embracing the holiday home lifestyle.
“It’s a very exciting time for the sector and we’re delighted to be able to offer these fantastic opportunities, which will help futureproof our business for years to come.”
Willerby has a long-standing commitment to growing its own talent through apprenticeships and increasing the skills base in the local area. Many of the current workforce have developed their careers through this route.
Mark Cook (left) joined Willerby as a plumbing apprentice in 2012, aged 16, progressing to become a qualified gas engineer, and is now a holiday home production line supervisor.
He said the apprenticeships Willerby was offering would open up similar positive opportunities for dozens more young people.
Mark said: “Starting my career as an apprentice at Willerby gave me chance to progress well and quickly. It’s a really good company to work for, there are plenty of opportunities for progression and I’m a good example of that.
“An apprenticeship is the best way to get a trade under your belt and learn while you earn. You get out of life what you put in and it’s good to get your head down and get stuck in.
“That’s what I’ve done at Willerby and now I have my own house and family and a baby on the way. I’ll always be grateful to Willerby for the opportunity.”
Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy has welcomed the news of the new apprenticeships.
She said: “It’s great to hear that Willerby are set to recruit more than 30 new apprentices this summer.
“As we all know, the caravan industry is an important employer in our region, especially following the pandemic.
“As chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Apprenticeships, I feel it’s hugely important for young people to have a variety of career paths, and having high quality apprenticeships us crucial.
“I will continue to champion the importance of apprenticeships in Parliament and it’s good to see these opportunities arising in our local area.”
A careers open day for those interested in working at Willerby will take place at its showground in Hull from 9.30am to 2pm on Saturday, July 17, with a particular focus on the apprenticeships.