Our people

Our people are at the centre of upholding our values, helping us to supply much needed new homes creating and supporting strong communities.

We aim to nurture our employees by keeping them safe, prioritising wellbeing, developing their skills, and providing a means to fulfil their individual ambitions in a diverse and inclusive environment.

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Training and development

We want to equip our current and future workforce with the skills and knowledge they need, by ensuring that relevant training is easily accessible.

All colleagues have access to our comprehensive e-learning platform, allowing individuals to access on-demand training in a range of topics. Between 2022 and 2023 our training and development team conducted over 120 training sessions, reaching the equivalent of 600 employees. The types of training carried out by this team include our group-wide induction for new colleagues and ensuring that all colleagues receive both general and role-specific training on the requirements of the New Homes Quality Code to embrace it throughout the company.

Training is also one of the key objectives of our health and safety team, with the team carrying out 1,650 Toolbox Talks (TBT’s) to an equivalent of almost 16,000 colleagues and contractors across our developments.

Our IT team also delivered enhanced group-wide cyber risk training via an online platform as well as more systems-based courses.

We aspire to bring new talent into the industry and show young people in particular, the range of career pathways available within our industry. We have recruited new talent into our sales teams, with a number of Trainee Sales Advisor roles, and recruited a number of professional trainees into our commercial and technical teams, all with great success with young talent progressing through the company. This is just the beginning and something we are committed to for the future.

When needed, we work with external sources to help nurture our talent and support our training efforts. In the last year we have partnered with numerous colleges and industry programmes, including the Leeds College of Building, and the NHBC Site Supervision programmes to deliver training. We have also sponsored employees through a wide range of relevant courses, including NVQs, apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Our Sales, Marketing, Construction and Customer Service teams have also all attended customer service training delivered by a specialist consultant.

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Our Charity Committee

Our Group HR department, supported regionally, oversees our charitable donations. We donate to charities that are important to our colleagues, raising money by running group wide sponsorship events such as MacMillan Coffee Mornings, Christmas Jumper Days and Children in Need. We also sponsor our employees in personal charity events from marathons to skydiving.

Health and wellbeing

We are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of our people. Colleagues are offered private medical insurance which they can add close family to if they wish. All Directors are also offered free full health screening every three years.

We recognise the importance of mental health and nominated employees have attended Mental Health England’s accredited two day course. We also provide access to an Employee Assistance Programme which gives confidential support on issues such as mental health, gambling, housing, alcohol, and drugs, as well as providing access to an online platform which offers support.

As part of our benefits, we run wellbeing webinars with colleagues on a range of topics, including finance and pensions. They ensure our workforce have the tools they need to manage their personal finances effectively.

The webinars are well attended and are also available on our Intranet to be re-watched or watched at the convenience of anyone unable to attend on the day of the webinar.

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Health and safety is our number one priority

Our in-house health and safety team provide specialist advice to each region as well as undertaking compliance reviews to keep everyone safe. Since July 2023, there has been over 450 unannounced construction site inspections conducted, ensuring compliance with our Health and Safety policies and procedures, the Health and Safety at Work Act, and all other associated regulations.

Best practice and improvement areas are shared with management and our colleagues throughout Avant, and good performance is highlighted via internal league tables. Our Group Health and Safety Manager also represents us with the Home Builders Federation (HBF) Health and Safety Committee to support the drive to improve the sector’s performance.

Health and safety targets

We have also established stretching internal health and safety related targets to drive the highest standards as follows:



Minimise RIDDOR (‘Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations’) incidences.

1 directly employed RIDDOR since July 2023

Conduct 2 site inspections per month as a minimum by the Group HR Department:
1 for advice and guidance
1 for a formally scored review

Achieved - Additional inspections are conducted, depending on the risk associated with the development.

Achieve 99% site inspection compliance with our internal requirements.

98.89% compliance

Undertake a gap analysis and look to improve upon current policies/ procedures to ensure compliancy with current HS&E legislation


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Equality, diversity, and inclusion

We recognise that a healthy, diverse, and inclusive workforce supports a sustainable business, bringing unique insights, increased creativity and innovation, higher productivity rates and better customer connections. Factors relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) do not influence our approach to hiring, nor our other people practices. We celebrate national and internal events such as World Mental Health Day, International Women’s Day, and Women in Construction.

The industry lacks female representation with only 4% of site managers and just 16% of senior construction industry roles being filled by women. However, at Avant we want to encourage women to enter the industry at all levels and across all disciplines.

We aim to attract retain and develop people who share our values and want to progress in the construction industry.

Hear from our colleagues:

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Women in Construction

Becky Ritchie

Engineering Manager, North East region

A career in construction wasn’t something that I had initially thought about. I was unsure which university course to do after finishing my A levels when I stumbled upon a role at a large housebuilder. I got the job and found that I was passionate about house design work. After studying a part time engineering course, I started doing the design work on some of the smaller developments until progressing to managing the larger, more challenging sites.

For the first few years of my career there weren’t many women in the industry doing technical jobs such as site management, engineering, and architecture, and it was sometimes challenging to change people’s perspectives of what roles women should do. The industry has changed, and there are now more and more women considering these roles and excelling in them. A few years ago, I was asked to go into a primary school and give a talk on the opportunities for women in construction. Most of the girls in the class had never considered it as an option before, as they viewed it as “a job for boys”.

It was nice to be able to show that the opportunities are there if you want to take them. Since joining Avant, I have been given the support and backing to manage challenging developments. I have also been more closely involved with other departments, providing engineering advice and solutions on new and ongoing developments. This has given me a broad understanding of the house building industry from a land enquiry stage through to customer care.

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Women in Construction

Rachel Cowper

Company Secretary and General Counsel

Construction is a very rewarding industry for women to work in. My journey in construction started when I was a private practice lawyer working in real estate and development finance. I chose to focus on residential development as the tangible nature of the work always appealed to me. I like the fact that I can drive past housing schemes that I played a small role in buying in as long ago as 1999 as well as the developments that we buy at Avant today.

Working at Avant has allowed me to build upon my understanding of the pushes and pulls of operating a successful business. The legal team at Avant is full of talented women and when I look round HBF meetings too, there is a high proportion of women working in legal within housebuilders demonstrating the opportunities available.