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North Star Welcomes New Apprentices

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North Star Welcomes New Apprentices


Published by Esme Trelease for Endeavour Housing Association in Housing and also in Education

Ashleigh and David are getting a great deal out of their placement Ashleigh and David are getting a great deal out of their placement

As part of their ongoing commitment to supporting young people in the workplace, North Star Housing Group, parent company of Endeavour and Teesdale Housing Associations have recently welcomed two new apprentices into the organisation.

17 year old Ashleigh Stafford and 22 year old David Wilkinson are settling well into their new roles and are working hard towards their NVQ qualifications. Ashleigh, whose apprenticeship is in Business Administration, will be working across the organisation and will have the opportunity to experience life in a number of departments. David, who is working towards an IT Users Qualification, is based within the ICT department.

David hopes that the apprenticeship route will give him the knowledge, skills and experience to face today’s tough job market, as he explains here.

“I’ve always had a keen interest in technology and multimedia and chose to take the apprenticeship route so that I could develop new skills and knowledge and gain valuable work experience in the field of ICT. I hope that my experience at here at North Star will equip me with the tools necessary to compete in today’s jobs market.

Everyone has been really welcoming here, and I feel as though I have a lot of support. I’m growing in confidence and I’m hoping that after my apprenticeship is complete I will be better placed to gain permanent employment.”

Ashleigh, who was recently awarded an aviation qualification following a period of study at Stockton RiversideC ollege, feels that apprenticeships offer an alternative way into employment for those who are keen to get into work.

“Once I got my qualification in aviation I decided I didn’t want to stay at college any longer. I really wanted go out, get a job and actually get some experience as well as earn some money. I was really pleased when North Star appointed me, and I’m settling in really well. I’m learning loads of new skills and hope to stay working for North Star when my apprenticeship is finished, as it’s such a good company to work for.”

Both Ashleigh and David agree that apprenticeships offer an ideal balance of work and learning. As Ashleigh puts it, “You get the best of both worlds, as you get to be out there in a work environment, learning about the job as well as working towards an NVQ. It’s a perfect balance really.”

The benefits to the young people involved in the apprenticeship scheme are clear, but as Angela Lockwood, Group Chief Executive of North Star Housing Group explains, the benefits to the business are just as valuable.

“As a people focussed organisation, we are want to offer our apprentices the opportunity to grow, try new things and to progress. To this end, we offer our apprentices hands-on experience in a number of roles, stretching, challenging and supporting them in the process.

We know that our apprentices have talent – we see it as our job to nurture that and ensure that they have the knowledge and skills they need for the future. In return, we get their youthful enthusiasm and the benefit of a fresh perspective.”

Angela goes on,

“In the coming years we hope to expand our apprenticeship program to give more young people the opportunity to learn and grow with us – watch this space.”


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