A north east housing association has taken on its biggest ever intake of apprentices this month as it continues to invest heavily in the future of affordable housing.
No fewer than 13 new apprentices have started work with County Durham Housing Group with new recruits in trades such as plumbing, horticulture and joinery, as well as IT and business administration.
The successful candidates came out on top after hundreds of applications for the roles and a hotly contested recruitment process.
As part of their training, the new apprentices will help to carry out property repairs, maintain and improve estates, as well as helping new and existing customers with their tenancies.
Business Administration apprentice, Rosie Robson, said: “Many young people believe the only route to a long-term, successful career is through college and university and don’t realise the benefits of an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are the best way to learn and develop as they are hands on and are an insight into the working world.”
Joinery apprentice, Eleanor Hailes, said: “I wanted to become an apprentice joiner because I took joinery at school and really enjoyed it. When this apprenticeship opportunity came up I knew how good the company was and decided to apply. I knew it would be a secure and lasting job that I could make a career out of.”
County Durham Housing Group Chief Executive, Bill Fullen, said: “It’s great to be able to welcome so many new apprentices so full of enthusiasm and keen to learn all about affordable housing.
“Investing in communities is not just about building new homes, we firmly believe in providing jobs and training too. Most of our apprentices are young, local people who go on to have very successful careers whilst making a lasting contribution to the organisation.”
The new apprenticeships are just the latest investment in training made by County Durham Housing Group. In the last three years nine apprentices have completed their training and gone on to full-time jobs with the group; and 10 existing staff have completed higher level apprenticeships to develop their careers.
County Durham Housing Group, which is based at Spectrum Business Park in Seaham, is also investing £54m in building new affordable homes across the region and £138m in refurbishing and improving existing properties.