Building a brighter future - FCHO apprentices make their mark on Oldham’s new homes

Date published: 01 December 2021

Local youngsters Amy Fielding, who is 19 and Cody Bentley, who is 23, have gained invaluable experience by helping to build some of Oldham’s latest affordable homes, thanks to their apprenticeships with First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO).

The apprentices joined FCHO in September 2020 and are set to become part of Oldham’s next generation of qualified joiners.

They have been gaining skills in all areas of joinery by working on tenanted and currently unoccupied properties, however, as part of their site carpentry apprenticeships, they must develop skills in areas that can only be gained in new build properties.

Following great partnership working between the housing association and development contractor, Robwood Construction, Amy and Cody have been hard at work on the High Barn Phase 2 development site, which is set to bring high quality one-bedroom apartments to Royton in March 2022, all for affordable rent with FCHO. 

Amy Fielding, Apprentice Joiner at FCHO, said: “I have never worked on a building site before and it’s been really beneficial to gain experience in different aspects of construction, all while playing a part in the delivery of new, much-needed homes. 

“We’ve put our hands to loads of things, from stud walls to door frames and manufactured joists, all under the supervision of the site manager.

"The weather has been a bit of a shock to the system but it’s great to see what goes into the foundations of house building and gain essential knowledge of the construction industry.”

Amy and Cody are two of four apprentices that FCHO recruited during the pandemic, and the housing association is committed to creating further apprenticeship roles to boost employment opportunities for local people. 

Karen Jenkins, Talent and Development Lead at FCHO, said: “Apprentices bring so much to an organisation and here at FCHO, it’s really important that we invest in apprenticeships to create a future talent pipeline both in our business and locally in Oldham too. 

“As part of my role, I am looking at opportunities for a variety of positions at FCHO and in the New Year we are hoping to recruit 11 more apprentices across the organisation, so watch this space.”

FCHO tenants who would benefit from any employment support can email their in-house employment team at

Find out more about FCHO’s High Barn Phase 2 development on their website High Barn: Phase 2 - First Choice Homes Oldham (

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