Building the skills of our current and future workforce is essential to address current and potential future skills gaps in our industry and subcontractor base. We are working closely with subcontractors, suppliers, peer companies, industry associations and educational organisations to identify and address skills gaps and upskill our workforce.
Building the skills pipeline
Identifying skills needs: Changes to Building Regulations, the introduction of the Future Homes Standard, and developments in technology mean the types of skills we need are changing. For example, when all electric homes are introduced from 2025 we may need significantly more people qualified to install air source heat pumps but fewer gas engineers. During 2022, our Future Skills Group has been exploring the skills profile our business will need over the medium to long term, as well as developing a demographic profile for our key trades to identify any potential gaps in the skills available to meet our strategic objectives.
Enhancing early career development: To support our school leavers, our Early in Career programme focuses on development in presence and impact, negotiation skills, giving and receiving feedback and working with others. Our graduates participate in our Future Leaders programme developing skills in collaboration, innovation, project management, stakeholder management, emotional intelligence, time management, networking, problem solving and communication. We’ve trained our line managers to support and manage young people in the early stages of their career through our ‘Brightsparks’ programme.
Entry level roles
We offer a range of entry-level roles to encourage people into our business. Entry level positions made up around 9% of our total workforce in 2022 (2021: 9%). These include:
Trade apprenticeships – three to five-year placements for bricklayers, carpenters, painters, roofers, scaffolders and joiners.
Management trainees – three-year development programme to become a Site Manager, Quantity Surveyor, Buyer, Design and Planning Executive, or Engineer and gain professional qualifications.
Graduates – placements, formal training, special projects and coaching over two to three years to develop our future managers and leaders.
Educational links: We support our regional businesses to develop local links with colleges, universities and schools and encourage a diverse range of candidates to consider careers in housebuilding. This includes attending careers fairs, offering work placements, giving talks and lectures and working with careers advisers. For example, we are partnering with Birmingham University to enable students on their Built Environment course to visit some of our active building sites, meet with Taylor Wimpey team members, including one of our regional managing directors and learn about the housebuilding process first hand. We have a school engagement pack, created by our graduates to engage young people in the housebuilding process.
Direct hiring: We are increasing the number of experienced tradespeople that we hire directly, focusing on key trades: bricklayers, carpenters, roofers, painters, scaffolders and joiners.
Career Convertor Programme: We want to reach people who may not have previously considered a career in construction but have valuable experience and transferable skills gained in other sectors. In 2023, we’ll launch our career convertor programme encouraging career changers to find roles with us, including former members of the armed forces.
Learning and training
Our training focuses on: management and leadership; personal development skills (such as presentation, communication, negotiation and time management); and technical knowledge and capabilities.
Our technical academies cover production, sales and customer service, providing structured career and skills development, and enabling employees to gain a formal qualification. In 2022, 1,285 employees were enrolled on or completed Academy courses. We aim to introduce additional Academies for colleagues in our Technical, Commercial and Land teams. An Academy Board meets quarterly to review our academies, and how they are impacting business performance.
In 2022, we ran three on-site apprentice training academies.
Our online training offer includes:
Best-in-class: how-to videos for each function on technical and operational subjects
Masterclasses: one hour sessions and discussions led by colleagues or external experts on business and technical subjects. In 2022, this included topics such as changes to human resources regulation, managing remote teams and engagement action planning.
Spotlight: invitation only masterclasses for senior colleagues led by internal experts
Colleagues also benefit from on-the-job training in areas such as health and safety and quality.
In 2023, there will be an increased focus on the development of line management capability – ensuring all our line managers feel confident to have great conversations, build meaningful relationships and engage and motivate their teams.
We assess the impact of our training and development using metrics such as employee productivity and retention, build quality scores, customer satisfaction scores and sales figures.
Customer and Sales Excellence Academies
Our Academy of Customer Excellence for customer service teams covers our product range, Customer Journey, consumer protection legislation, technical standards, and health, safety and the environment. Our Academy of Sales Excellence builds the skills, knowledge and expertise of our sales teams to deliver excellent customer service and consistent sales in all market conditions.
In 2022, 365 employees were enrolled in the Academy of Sales Excellence, 448 in the Academy of Customer Excellence.
We use customer feedback to assess the impact of our training. For example, we have seen an increase in the percentage of customers who rate their experience with our customer contact centre as good or excellent, following the introduction of our dispute resolution. 80% of telephone call contact surveys rate their Taylor Wimpey experience as either excellent or good, based on 3,000 calls a week.
Embedding quality through our Production Academy
Our Academy of Production Excellence training helps us enhance skills and embed our quality standards, provide formal job-related qualifications for Assistant Site Managers, Site Managers and Production Managers and create a culture of education and development for our talent to be the best qualified workforce in the industry.
Participants complete an NVQ at the relevant level, from construction site supervision to construction senior management and technical courses developed by the NHBC and adapted to reflect our business. These cover the NHBC warranty, effective snagging, defects prevention, site environmental management, leadership skills, commercial awareness and project management. We’ve also integrated development programmes to support progress to more senior roles and enhance our succession pipeline.
The Academy supports our production teams to deliver the high-quality homes our customers expect. Other business benefits include improved employee engagement and retention by providing clear career and development pathways for production employees. We track the impact of the Academy by monitoring customer satisfaction rates for build quality, NHBC inspection results (CQR) and turnover rates in our production teams.
There were 472 employees enrolled on the Academy of Production Excellence in 2022.
Performance appraisal and development
Our approach to performance review encourages colleagues and their line manager to set and review short term performance objectives four times a year. This ensures performance reviews are relevant and meaningful, encourages regular dialogue on performance and development, and supports ongoing performance improvements. As a minimum, every employee has their objectives set at the start of the year, a mid-year review, and an annual appraisal.
Line managers are trained on our performance management principles. In 2023, we will be running additional short interactive workshops on how to have honest and effective conversations about performance and how to plan development.
All new Directors and Managing Directors receive a 360 appraisal – around 144 people per year.