The twelve apprentices will work with skilled staff in property services, learning from some of the very best trades staff in the industry, for the next three to four years.
Working in partnership with Darlington College and Askham Bryan College, the apprentices, aged 16 to 25, will work towards a recognised professional trade qualification, up to level 3, in either plumbing, electrical, joinery, gas engineering, plastering or grounds maintenance and will lead them on their way to potential future employment.
Reece Travis, 16 from Hartlepool an apprentice electrician, said: “I wanted to learn and do something that was hands on. When I looked into it, this seemed ideal. Thirteen has given me a great start to my career.”
Eden Lonsdale, 18 from Hemlington, Middlesbrough, an apprentice plasterer, had previously been to college to study fabrication welding. He said: “While I was at college I had a couple of part time jobs, but it wasn’t for me. I’m really excited about this and can’t wait to get started.”
Lisa Bowerbank, Curriculum Manager for Construction at Darlington College said “The apprentices will gain industry recognised qualifications through their tutoring at Darlington College to enable them to progress within their chosen career. We are excited to be working with Thirteen to help train their workforce of the future.”
Director of investment and maintenance Nik Turner said: “It’s important that we help local people gain work experience, qualifications and a step on the career ladder.
“Every year our apprenticeship programme goes from strength to strength. We were overwhelmed to get over 1000 applicants for the positions this year.
“This is a fantastic opportunity, for people to build a career for themselves and gain the skills they need in a modern and successful organisation. Some of our senior and very successful staff started their career here as an apprentice. They really are aspirational people who go above and beyond and we hope they will inspire our apprentices to meet their full potential.
“As the largest social housing provider in the North East, we’re making a real difference in the Tees Valley and further afield, and that’s something we’re really proud of. This is a great organisation to work for, where our staff are at the heart of everything we do. We invest in them so they are the best they can be.
“We’re delighted to welcome our new apprentices to Thirteen. They should be really proud of themselves and we wish them every success for the future.”