It’s the first year that the housing company has run an in-house apprenticeship scheme, and it has also taken a lead role in recruiting trade apprentices on behalf of Gateshead Council’s Highways and Street Lighting sections.
The housing company apprentices, aged 16-24, have been appointed to a variety of roles which will give them on-the-job experience in plumbing, electrical engineering, joinery, plastering and business administration.
Debbie Worrall, Human Resources and Governance Manager, said: “At The Gateshead Housing Company we know that apprentices are the future of our business.
“We believe that having the right attitude, behaviours and values is just as important as ability. Our new online application and assessment process has ensured that we found the best candidates.
“Raising the age limit to 24 opened up the opportunity for those people who have stayed in education longer or who have tried another career and decided it isn’t right for them.
“It’s also fantastic news for the company, as we’ve found that we’ve attracted applications from people who are really committed to their career choices and will stay with the company beyond their apprenticeship.”
The new trade apprentices will be working within the housing company’s HomeRepairs team providing services in customer homes across the whole of Gateshead.
Apprentice joiner Hannah Kinghorn, 23, said: “I studied joinery at college and really enjoyed it. Although it’s becoming more popular for girls it’s still different, which is nice.”
24-year-old Joss Walker, who is starting his apprenticeship as a plasterer, said: “I chose an apprenticeship because it’s a great way of getting a trade under my belt and it can set you up with a career for life.”
To give them a flying start with the company, the apprentices have all been assigned mentors, who will give them on-the-job support. Their practical learning will be complemented by day-release college attendance.
Cllr Malcolm Brain, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Developing young talent is crucial to the future success of any business and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this recruitment drive.
“We are delighted to have been able to make these appointments and I’d like to wish the apprentices the best of luck in their careers with The Gateshead Housing Company.”