A new generation of home-grown construction talent is supporting the creation of homes across Teesside and North Yorkshire.
Five apprentices have joined Redcar-based housing association Coast & Country to help its growth in providing homes for rent, sale and shared ownership.
Alex Orr, 18, and Daniel Bland, Jack Dixon, Harry Potter, Ryan Honor, all 19, are now part of Coast and Country’s 450-strong workforce. Northern Skills Group, the apprenticeship and training arm of Middlesbrough College, will train the apprentices as they study and work in different construction disciplines.
Alex, Jack and David are all training in joinery, while Ryan will focus on painting and Harry on plastering.
Emma Tooth, apprenticeship co-ordinator at Coast & Country, said: “We are delighted to work with Northern Skills Group to give these five young people the opportunity to work and learn skills that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.
“It is so important that we invest in our young people and help them get onto the career ladder.
“An apprenticeship with Coast & Country provides a wide range of opportunities for people with very varied skills and I am sure that all our apprentices this year will not only enjoy learning but will go on to have successful careers in their chosen field.”
Meanwhile another four apprentices – also being trained by Northern Skills Group – have joined Northallerton-based Broadacres Housing Association.
The cohort includes apprentice bricklayer Jack Heads, 23; apprentice heating engineer Issac Maury, 16; apprentice joiner Edward Kerridge, 17, and apprentice electrician Boden Skelton, 18.
They were appointed following a rigorous recruitment process, supported by Northern Skills Group, which saw more than 200 people apply for the positions.
Eighty people were then invited for initial assessments and interviews.
Andy Powell, customer services director at Broadacres Housing Association, said: “Broadacres’ mission is to make a real difference to people’s lives by delivering homes that people want to live in.
“Our work with Northern Skills Group to bring apprentices into the business is vitally important because it protects our future skills pipeline while providing training opportunities for people in the communities where we work.”
Peter Wilson, managing director at Northern Skills Group, said: “The competition for high quality apprenticeship opportunities is becoming increasingly acute.
“To that end, Northern Skills Group now operates an Apprenticeship Academy where apprentices can undertake a personal development programme to improve their chances of employment and get a real taste of life as an apprentice.”