Our people and suppliers

Skills and development

We invest in skills to help us recruit, retain and develop talented people and to address current and future skills gaps in our business and subcontractor base. 


We partner with subcontractors, suppliers, peer companies, industry associations and educational organisations on many of our skills programmes. We also integrate our work on skills with our focus on diversity and inclusion as both are critical to recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce. 
We are proud of our approach to talent development at Taylor Wimpey. 45% of our regional management teams have been promoted internally and 62% of Site Managers were promoted from within the business.

Identifying skills needs

Changes to Building Regulations, the introduction of regulation such as the Future Homes Standard, and developments in technology mean the types of skills we need are changing. For example, we may need significantly more people qualified to install air source heat pumps in future but fewer gas engineers.

Our internal Future Skills Group is mapping the skills profile our business will need over the medium to long term, and has created a demographic profile for our key trades to identify potential gaps. The Group draws on insights gained from our building trial at Sudbury [link], as well as dialogue with sub-contractors suppliers, trade federations and the Future Homes Hub to understand future skills needs, to assess whether suitable training is in place to address skills gaps and to determine how best to support our sub-contractor base. We are developing our Green Skills Plan to help us respond to the Future Homes Standard and other regulation such as biodiversity net gain.


Entry level roles

We offer a range of entry-level roles to encourage people into our business including our apprenticeships, traineeships and graduate programme.

Entry level positions - including apprenticeships, management trainees and graduate roles - made up around 9% of our total workforce in 2023 (2022: 9%). This is lower than we would like as we reduced the numbers recruited to our management trainee programme and did not recruit to our graduate programme due to the challenging market conditions during 2023. We aim to increase entry level recruitment as market conditions improve.

Management trainees and graduates

Our management trainees complete a two or four-year development programme for assistant roles in Site Management, Quantity Surveying, Buying, Design and Planning, and Engineering and gain professional qualifications. Participants on our graduate programme complete placements, formal training, special projects and coaching over two to three years to develop our future managers and leaders. 
We set up an Early Entry Talent Board in 2023 to improve consistency between our business units and ensure our programmes deliver the right results for our entry level people and for the business. 

We offer tailored training to support our school leavers, including our Early in Career programme. This focuses on development in presence and impact, negotiation skills, giving and receiving feedback and working with others. Our graduates also 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. 
In 2023, we also launched capability reviews which provide a skills matrix, performance review framework and greater transparency on pay and progression for entry level roles. 

Trade apprenticeships

Our apprenticeships are three to four-year placements for painters and decorators, carpenters and joiners. Apprentices work with our direct trade colleagues or our sub-contractors on our sites for four days a week and spend one day a week in college. Apprentices are supported by a dedicated apprentice manager and we run three on-site apprentice training academies. In 2023, 100% of those completing their apprenticeships did so successfully, one of the highest completion rates in our industry. After completion, some of our apprentices will be hired by our business units to join our other directly hired tradespeople while many others find jobs with our sub-contractors.


Supporting subcontractors to hire apprentices

With many skilled tradespeople leaving the sector we need our sub-contractors to invest in apprenticeships. However, our research showed that many smaller sub-contractors found it challenging to launch an apprenticeship programme or aren’t able to allocate an apprentice manager to run it.

In 2023, we developed a new approach to address these barriers, partnering with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the Home Building Skills Partnership and some of our mid-sized sub-contractors in groundworks, bricklaying and carpentry.

The CITB is providing consultancy support to help firms recruit apprentices, identify suitable colleges, apply for funding and manage their apprenticeship programme. It is being piloted with our regional businesses in Exeter and the Midlands. One of our groundwork contractors has already committed to recruit 10 apprentices a year over five years and another is recruiting four apprentices. Over £100,000 in missed funding opportunities has been identified.

We have also led a collaboration with five other major housebuilders and the HBF to create a sector wide skills plan. Actions taken so far have included identifying locations for multi-trade skills hubs and updating bricklaying qualifications to ensure they are focused on the skills the industry needs. 

Schools outreach and educational links

We work with schools, colleagues and universities to promote careers in our sector from giving careers talks and attending careers fairs, to offering work placements and offering practical support such as CV writing.

In 2023, we strengthened our schools outreach programme working with a specialist company to help our regional businesses develop links with schools in a more targeted way. This will include developing school partnerships that can help us to reach more diverse students and more girls. In 2023 we engaged with around 490 schools. Each managing director has agreed a schools engagement plan for their business unit.

We partner with many colleges and universities that offer relevant courses for our sector. For example, through our partnership with Birmingham University we enable students on their Built Environment course to visit some of our active building sites, meet with Taylor Wimpey team members, and learn about the housebuilding process first hand.

Career convertors

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.

We are launching our career convertors programme for ex-service personnel during 2024. This will enable around 10 people who have recently left the armed forces to complete a fast track programme to the role of assistant site manager. We are partnering with FrontFoot.jobs and FrontFoot.life to identify suitable recruits and to support them and their families during the transition.

In response to feedback from our employee survey, we launched a new training guide in 2023 to make it clearer for colleagues how to access our training courses and masterclasses. 

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.

Leaders and managers

 Our leadership training and coaching helps our senior colleagues to prepare for and thrive in leadership roles. Examples include our leading through uncertainty training and our Aspiring Director programme which prepares functional colleagues for roles in our business unit management teams. We are also launching a programme to help our leaders develop their coaching skills which will see them mentoring and coaching young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
We support our line managers with a range of virtual and face to face training sessions. These cover topics such as coaching, onboarding, performance management, development planning and managing underperformance. Our leadership programmes focus on self-awareness, emotional intelligence and building high performing teams. 

Our Academies

Our technical academies cover production, sales and customer service, providing structured career and skills development, and enabling employees to gain a formal qualification. In 2023, 249 employees were enrolled on or completed Academy courses. An Academy Board meets quarterly to review our academies, and how they are impacting business performance.
We reviewed our technical function in 2023 and have clarified roles and career paths across our different regional business units. Following this, we launched our Technical Academy in early 2024 to provide structured knowledge, skills and competency development for each career path. This will help to ensure consistency of approach and skills development across the business.   

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. We continue to develop the Academy and add new elements. For example, in 2023 we introduced a module focusing on writing with empathy. 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 2023, 51 employees were enrolled in the Academy of Sales Excellence, 81 in the Academy of Customer Excellence. We use customer feedback to assess the impact of our training. 


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 117 employees enrolled on the Academy of Production Excellence in 2023.

Performance appraisal and development

Our quarterly conversations review process, launched in 2023, provides a structured approach with performance objectives set and reviewed four times a year. This encourages regular dialogue on development and supports ongoing performance improvements. Line managers must submit a record of each conversation to our HR teams so we can monitor implementation.

Our performance reviews assess behaviours as well as performance and are aligned to the Taylor Wimpey values.

Line managers are trained on our performance management principles and how to have honest and effective conversations about performance.

All new Directors and Managing Directors receive a 360 appraisal – around 144 people per year.