A-Z Of Employers: Taylor Woodrow

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The Independent Online

What does it do?

The Taylor Woodrow name has been around the UK for nearly a century. It was in 1921 that 16-year-old Frank Taylor borrowed £100 to build two houses in Blackpool, and persuaded his uncle, Jack Woodrow, to lend his name to the company. By the mid-20th century, the firm had started taking on bigger construction projects to complement the house building, among them the wigwam-shaped Roman Catholic cathedral in Liverpool, the redevelopment of St Katharine's Dock in London, and, more recently, the new Welsh National Assembly building in Cardiff. But, since the turn of the century, the new homes part of the business has become dominant, accounting for 97 per cent of operating profit. In 2001, Taylor Woodrow took over the Bryant Group, and since then has used the Bryant Homes name for all its house-building. Further expansion came in 2003 when the Wilson Connolly homebuilders were acquired. The overseas arm also builds homes in North America, Spain and Gibraltar.

Vital Statistics

More than 8,000 people work for Taylor Woodrow worldwide. Last year their efforts contributed to the building of 12,000 new homes here and abroad.

The office

Since 2002, the company has been based in Solihull in the West Midlands. There are 12 regional offices for the home-building operation, and a construction base in Watford.

Is this you?

Just over 40 graduates are taken on a year, about a quarter in home-building and the rest in construction, most with engineering, surveying or management degrees related to the building sector. All are expected to aspire to a long- term career in building, and the acquisition of relevant professional qualifications

The recruitment process

Online applications begin at www.taylorwoodrow.com. Assuming the academic side is up to scratch, all applicants attend a one day interview/ assessment centre. Here you'll take verbal and numerical reasoning tests, have an interview focused on your technical knowledge, and also find out more about the company. Training lasts three years and comprises a mix of technical learning, management courses and personal development. All graduates receive wide-ranging exposure of the Taylor Woodrow business, with hands-on responsibility from the outset.

Top Dollar?

Graduates start on between £20,500 and £21,000, with a car and annual bonus scheme. There's also medical insurance, share schemes and a professional subscription thrown in.

Beam me up Scotty?

All vacancies are advertised internally and open to all graduates at the end of their training. Cross-fertilisation between the home-building and construction departments is encouraged. Geographic mobility is a must.

Who's the boss?

The chief executive, Iain Napier, a chartered management accountant, joined Taylor Woodrow in 2002.

Little known fact

The company logo, depicting four men taking part in a tug of war, is based on a similar granite sculpture, entitled Teamwork, made in 1958 and now standing outside the firm's Solihull HQ.

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