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Staff from local builder join annual Meet the Employer careers event in Didcot

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Staff from the builders behind the forthcoming Valley Park development between Harwell and Didcot were among some of the organisations that attended a recent careers day in the area.

Persimmon Homes Wessex attended the second annual Meet the Employer event at Didcot Girls’ School, where three of its employees spoke with groups of Year 13s in the area.

Senior Assistant Accountant Laura Wilkey, Quantity Surveyor Beth Moody, and External Affairs Manager Calum Davies represented the five-star builder in different sections as students were divided into what kind of industries they would be most interested in going forward.

The event was based around the equation of “Employability = (Work Experience + Qualifications + Skills) x Network”, and employers were encouraged to base their talks around this.

Feedback from the students following the event included “enlightening”, “useful”, and “illuminating”. They added that “valuable conversations with employers and local opportunities” gave “a knowledge about not having a linear career path” and “an insight into the work of specialists from a diverse range of career paths.”

The first phase of 172 homes at Valley Park were unanimously approved by district councillors in September after outline planning permission to construct 4,254 homes had previously been secured in 2022.

The first homes – 59 of which will be transferred to a housing association partner – will be delivered as part of a zero-carbon ready scheme by the five-star builder. 

It will be a no-gas site with all properties equipped with air source heat pumps, electric vehicle charging points and solar panels, as well as cycle storage.

As well as building homes that will create jobs and economic growth locally, the overall consortium-led scheme at Valley Park will also deliver £50m worth of investment with new facilities and amenities such as two new primary schools, a special education school and a healthcare centre.

As part of the commitment, Persimmon and consortium partners will also gift land for the new health centre to the local integrated care board and make a substantial contribution of £2,841,000 towards construction of the facility.

Persimmon Homes Wessex Managing Director Julian Roper said: “Persimmon has always been proud of its engagement with young people and its educational partnerships, especially in the areas in which we build.

“Given we will be one of the builders behind the major Valley Park development only a few minutes away from the school, we obviously wanted to help out with the careers event.

“There is every chance that future pupils at the school and event attendees will be the residents that occupy homes at this site for generations to come or even Persimmon employees, given we are a big employer in the area.

“I am delighted to hear that the event was a success and that Laura, Beth, and Calum were able to excellently represent the business to local young people as they set off on their future careers.”



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