Springfield Properties tackles skills shortage

From left to right: David Burns, Jack Kemp, Ashleigh Thomson, Kat Adam, Iain Phimster, Duncan Martin.

Springfield Properties is tackling an industry skills shortage by unearthing fresh talent through student placement programmes..

To date, the housebuilder of private and affordable properties has placed 11 university students in a variety of work experience roles over the past two years, providing real opportunities to put academic learning in action and give valuable commercial experience.

As a direct result of these placements Springfield has offered full-time employment to five of the interns – who now work for the firm, or will do after completing their degree. This is an important initiative in tackling a skills shortage in the industry.

Group HR Director at Springfield Properties, Heather Henderson, said: “When people are on placement with us, they truly get involved in the real job and are given responsibility. They can be working on planning applications, advertising and house builds. We’re a learning organisation, great at training people and giving them opportunities to flourish, it’s the Springfield way.

“As a growing business, the work experience programmes help us find the best talent to future proof the company. I’m pleased that we usually manage to place students in their own locality; it shows that people can still build a great career in their home town with a local company.”

The company organises work experience placements through partnerships with universities and directly with students looking for placements on their own initiative. The students have been invited to work in disciplines across the business; including surveying, architecture, accountancy and engineering.

24-year-old, Ashleigh Thomson from Buckie, undertook a placement before completing her architecture degree at Robert Gordon University, joined Springfield as an Architectural Technician full time, after graduating in 2017.

She adds: “It is difficult to get a position with a company in your chosen career after graduation if you have no direct experience. Springfield provided me with much-needed commercial awareness, as well as sponsorship to complete my studies. The mentoring and coaching offered by established team members made Springfield a very attractive option once I graduated.”

After completing successful placements, Duncan Martin, aged 20 from Kinloss, joined Springfield as a Trainee Architectural Technician; Megan Scotland 23, from Bo’ness joined the Marketing department; Jack Kemp, 22 from Inverness, now works for Springfield Properties as Trainee Quantity Surveyor, and 19-year-old, Iain Phimister from Forres is set to join in 2020 after completing a surveying degree at RGU.

Springfield has grown from 206 employees in 2011 to over 540 staff employed today, cementing its position as one of Scotland’s leading employers.