North East builder pledges jobs boost

A Persimmon home.
A Persimmon home.

The North East’s largest housebuilder is pledging to create more jobs after announcing an increase in profits.

Persimmon Homes yesterday announced a 31 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for the first half of the year.

Deputy managing director John Eynon said he is delighted with the group’s performance and says his focus for the second half of 2015 is to deliver more new homes into the area and recruit more local people to join the growing team.

The company has already opened a number of new developments in the region this year and is focused on launching further new sites in Alnwick, Gateshead and Newcastle Great Park.

Persimmon revealed pre-tax profits of £272.8million for the first half of 2015, with revenue up 11 per cent to £1.33billion. Legal completions of homes increased seven per cent to 6,855, with an average selling price of £194,378, which is up four per cent.

Mr Eynon said: “As we continue to grow, so do our teams. Since January, our headcount across the group has increased by just over 500 to 4,000 people and this doesn’t include the thousands of suppliers employed to support our internal teams in delivering new homes.

“Locally, we’ve recruited more people into our sales, construction and technical teams and we continue to recruit each month.

“Our ex-military recruitment drive goes from strength to strength and nationally, we have 120 Combat to Construction trainees and a further 42 ex-forces employees who have joined us from the military. We expect to have close to 200 ex-military employees by the end of the year.”

Such has been the success of Combat to Construction, Persimmon is extending the programme for bricklayers and joiners to non-military entrants.

Aimed at career changers who want to move to a job offering training, a qualification, security and increased earning potential, Up-skill to Construction will be launched locally in September.

The business is also providing funding for small groups and charities through the Persimmon Community Champions programme. Launched in March 2015, the scheme has already donated more than £250,000, with local groups able to apply for grants of up to £1,000.

Mr Eynon said: “In the region, we’re delighted to have supported 12 local good causes so far. We’re now actively looking for further groups, charities and schools to support and would welcome more applications via the Persimmon website.”

All of Persimmon’s new homes are listed on www.persimmonhomes.com To find out about what jobs are available locally, visit www.persimmonjobs.com To apply for Community Champions funding go to www.persimmonhomes.com/charity