Jelson Holdings, founded in 1889 as a shopfitter and undertaker, is now a major construction company building 350 houses a year within 60 miles of its Leicester headquarters. It is run by Ronald and Robert Jelley, grandson and great-grandson of company founder James Jelley. In a drive to resist the general trend towards prefabricated and factory-built houses, Jelson Holdings claims to be one of the few remaining firms to offer a comprehensive range of trade apprenticeships. It also rewards long-service with its Quarter Century Club (open to those with 25 years of continuous service) which currently has 80 members. Jelson has seen profit growth of 23% a year, from £5.2m in 1997 to £9.8m in 2000, fuelled by a boom in the UK housing market and an increasing focus on larger, higher margin properties.
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