page 4 – apprenticeships could be just the job

apprenticeships could be just the job

County Durham Housing Group is set to take on new apprentices in trades including joinery, gas engineering and plumbing plus business administration as it looks to invest in skills for the future.

The group is on the lookout for top candidates to fill 11 newly created roles starting in September.

The trade positions are part of an expansion by the group’s in house repairs and maintenance division, Group Property Services (GPS). The new apprentices will work alongside GPS’ 120 employees delivering home improvement projects and gas services to more than 10,000 properties.

Business administration apprenticeships will work across the company in areas like Peterlee, Bishop Auckland and Durham.

Recruitment for the posts is due to start this month, with the successful candidates beginning their new career in September. The posts are not age restricted and are open to anyone keen to learn the in-demand trades and business administration.

Joining Group Property Services nearly two years ago gave Jake Dowson his first step on the career ladder towards becoming an electrician.

Jake said: “My apprenticeship has taught me lifelong skills that I won’t forget, thanks to watching how experienced people work and then starting to do things myself.”

And Jake’s aspirations have grown since recently passing his exam on the 17th edition of the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s Wiring Regulations.

”I want to become fully qualified and then hopefully I can go on to do inspection testing and maybe a HNC.”

The apprenticeships are part of a significant investment by County Durham Housing Group in its own repairs and upgrades service. GPS has already opened a new central stores operation for the whole county, upgraded its vehicle fleet and is upskilling existing staff to reduce the length of time taken to repair and upgrade properties by tackling more work in-house.

Group Property Services General and Commercial Manager, Joe Gash, said: “These new posts will be a great grounding in a variety of highly skilled trades. Roles like joinery, plumbing and gas engineering are all professions where successful apprentices can go on and make a very good career.

“We’re expecting interest to be high and we’re committed to making sure that these apprentices receive some of the best training and development opportunities in the north east. They are the future of our business.”

County Durham Housing Group’s last intake of five business administration apprentices have all now gone on to secure permanent roles within the group.

Group Chief Executive, Bill Fullen, said: “We firmly believe that investing in, and nurturing, new talent as part of our workforce is fundamental to the long term success of the organisation. Work in the housing sector is a highly rewarding career and I know that our apprentices have always gained so much from their experiences with us.”

County Durham Housing Group is also investing £30m in programme of new build homes. Communities such as Rookhope in rural Weardale, Pity Me close to Durham City Centre and Peterlee are all set to see new homes to meet growing demand for affordable housing.

Pictured above: Group Property Services apprentice Jake Dowson