AN OXFORDSHIRE MP dabbled in bricklaying as he met apprentices at a major development on the doorstep of Blenheim Palace.

Witney MP Robert Courts visited the Park View housing estate in Woodstock and praised the enthusiasm of apprentices working for Pye Homes.

Three apprentices met Mr Courts and demonstrated their work to him.

Read again: Blenheim unveils Park View housing estate in Woodstock

The Conservative MP said: “It was great to visit the enthusiastic apprentices working on the Park View development, who are all delighted to be back at work.

“Apprenticeship schemes like this are really important for West Oxfordshire.

“They are a brilliant way for young people to learn and develop the skills that will enable them to get on in life.”

The youngsters are part of a 19-strong group of apprentices working with Blenheim in a range of sectors, including farming, building and customer service.

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Graham Flint, managing director at Pye Homes, said: “We were delighted Robert visited the site, and for him to have the opportunity to speak to our apprentices and see them at work.

“The industry desperately needs more skilled workers, we are always looking to attract young people into the industry and apprenticeships are the perfect way to train, get a qualification and gain valuable paid work experience at the same time.

“We remain committed to our apprenticeship programme which, in partnership with Blenheim, will see us recruit and train 100 apprentices in five years as part of our shared 10 goals.”

Last month, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £1.6 billion will be invested in employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships, in an effort to help people looking for a job, following the impact of coronavirus.

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Park View, a stone’s throw from Blenheim Palace, consists of 46 one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as houses with up to five bedrooms.

The next phase of the project will feature affordable homes in partnership with West Oxfordshire District Council, as well as shared ownership and lettings, and is due to get underway in the coming months.

The initial builds were opened in January, and when complete, the entire estate will include up to 300 new homes, alongside plans for small businesses.

It will take between five and seven years to complete, and about 40 per cent of the development will be affordable housing.